Solar irrigation project to boost farm productivity in Rizal

(File photo from NIA)

BARAS, Rizal – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over a solar pump irrigation project (SPIP) worth PHP20 million to Baliksaka Farmers Association Inc. in Barangay Pinugay here.

DAR Secretary John Castriciones said the project, made possible with the collaboration of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), will benefit mainly members of the Irrigators Association of Barangay Pinugay, Baras town.

Castriciones said the SPIP will address the water problem of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and non-ARBs living in Baras.

“The use of solar-powered pumps reduces the expenses of farmers in irrigating their fields. It, therefore, promotes poverty alleviation and income increase in irrigators associations,” Castriciones said in a news release on Monday.

Assistant Secretary and concurrent Calabarzon Regional Director Rene Colocar said the technology is composed of solar panels, pumps, electronic controls to operate the pump, concrete canals, water tank, conveyance structures, and a pump house.

He said the system is more cost-efficient than the fuel-powered irrigation pumps due to the rising cost of diesel. The SPIP can irrigate 72 hectares of farmlands.

“Modernizing the existing use of diesel-powered pumps or generators into solar-powered pumps will significantly benefit the farmers in the long run because aside from its cost-effectiveness and efficiency, these projects ensure year-round irrigation supply that may result in an increase in farm produce allowing a third cropping season,” Colocar said.

The project was implemented under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Irrigation-Component of DAR, which focuses on the development of agricultural productivity and the improvement of the living condition of the farmers. (PR)