Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines

02/07/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/07/2019 00:31

Solar-powered water system operates in Llanera

Author: DA-AFID | 7 February 2019

Agriculture Secretary Manny F. Piñol led the ceremonial turn-over of a Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) to the Caridad Norte and Sur Irrigators' Association in Llanera, Nueva Ecija on February 7, 2019.

'This is in fulfillment to a promise we made last April 2017,' Piñol said.

The agri chief stressed that the irrigation system aims to improve the productivity of rice farms in the municipality, lower poverty incidence, and regain the public's trust towards the governmment.

The Llanera SPIS, valued at P7.2 million (M), is powered by 140 solar modules which generate 30 to 50 horsepower (hp).

With the SPIS in place, rice production in around 120 hectares (ha) field is expected to increase.

'With the diesel pump before, we could irrigate 70 ha of farm, but with this technology, we have expanded production to 50 ha more,' DA Region 3 OIC-Regional Director Crispulo G. Bautista Jr. said.

Baustista explained that farmers have started using the SPIS in the last cropping season.

'Ginamit na siya ng mga magsasaka at tumaas ang prodsuksyon nila mula 80 bags to 120 bags/ha,' he said.

The SPIS, which can be operated for a maximum of nine hours a day, has a capacity output of 1,280-2000 cubic meter (m3) per day with pump flow rate of more or less 241 m3/hour.

To minimize production cost, Piñol recommended the installation of additional solar panels so that more areas will be irrigated.

Aside from the SPIS, Piñol committed loaning assistance amounting to P5M for Caridad Norte and Sur farmers.

'From this amount, P4.2M will be alloted for the 210 ha rice area of Caridad Norte while the remaining P800,000 can be borrowed by vegetable farmers,' Piñol said.

He also committed two units of mini tractors and a unit of combined harvester for the irrigators' association. ### (Kristel Merle, DA-AFID)