solar-powered irrigation groundbreaking

GROUNDBREAKING OF THE DA-CMU PARTNERSHIP PROJECT ON SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION. Key officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Central Mindanao University (CMU) have recently led the groundbreaking ceremony of a solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) which aims to showcase solar-powered system as an alternative irrigation technology in most rainfed and water-scarce rice-growing areas. Leading the activity are DA-10 Regional Director Carlene Collado and CMU Vice-President Jupiter Casas, DA-10 Regional Technical Director Carmelita Bajarla, Research Division Chief Juanita Salvani and Engineering Division Chief Pedro Bergado.


MARAMAG, BUKIDNON. The Department of Agriculture 10, in partnership with the Central Mindanao University, has recently put on the ground the establishment of a solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) which will showcase solar-powered irrigation technology to boost rice production in most rainfed and water-scarce rice-growing areas.

Department of Agriculture 10 Regional Director Carlene Collado said that the irrigation system is the first DA-academe partnership project on solar-powered irrigation in the Visayas and Mindanao. A similar prototype solar-powered irrigation project was also established M’lang, North Cotabato sometime in February 2017.

The facility is expected to contribute to the promotion and adoption of rice, particularly of the hybrid varieties and its production technologies. In Region 10, inspite of the high yield performance of hybrid rice at a maximum of 16-17 tons/ha compared to the traditional rice varieties with only 6-7 tons/hectare, still, hybrid rice utilization remains low. “Only 20% of rice farmers plant the hybrids in Region 10,” Collado said.

“We need to increase productivity, not only sufficiency in our rice production, and for this, we need to push for the promotion and adoption of technologies on hybrid rice production. This, among others, includes irrigation technologies which are important in rice production,” Director Collado said. The SPIS shall be showcased as a mechanization component that shall address the need for irrigation water in most rainfed rice production areas.

Engr. Romil Espanola of the DA10 Engineering Division reported that the solar-powered irrigation system has the capacity to pump an average volume of 1,000 cubic meters in every 6-8 hours period, thereby can ably irrigate 10 hectares of rice lands per day.

The solar-powered irrigation facility in CMU is expected to be completed and to start operations by the middle of June 2018. Six (6) more units of the facility are also pipelined for the establishment in different project pilot areas in Region 10 for 2018. (MAE ODIMYRL A MORALES, DA-10)

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