1st solar-powered irrigation testing successful

LLANERA, Nueva Ecija -- The recent actual pump testing of the first solar powered irrigation system (SPIS) in Central Luzon has been successful.

Representatives from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Central and Regional Agricultural and Fishery Divisions, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Central Luzon and Agriculture Machineries Testing and Evaluation Center-University of the Philippine Los BaƱos here conducted the testing of the SPIS project, composed of 140 panels, which works like any other available and commonly used water pumps. The main difference is that solar powered pumps run on solar energy and do not require any fuel (diesel, kerosene, gas, etc.) or external source of electricity (from an electric company) to deliver water.

SSIP focal person Engineer Elmer Tubig said that based on actual testing, the SPIS can continuously operate for eight hours daily which could irrigate 29 hectares of rice area. With irrigation interval of one day, the SPIS could irrigate a maximum of 58 hectares for second cropping period and may result to the incremental rice production in the upland rice areas of the municipality of Llanera.

Attaining 3.63 million metric tons last 2017, DA Central Luzon regional office targets to increase their 2018 rice production to four million metric tons.

The beneficiary of the said project is the Caridad Norte and Sur Irrigators Association (CNSIA) composed of 125 Nueva Ecija rice farmers members.

CNSIA Chairman Roger Bautista expressed his gratitude to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol through the Department of Agriculture in Central Luzon for awarding the said project.

Also present during the testing were DA Central Luzon Executive Director engineer Roy Abaya, regional technical director Crispulo Bautista, Jr., operations chief Benjamin Baltazar, and engineering chief engineer Abraham Molina.

A series of SPIS site visits of the different engineering offices of DA regional field units are set to be conducted on the succeeding months. (PR)


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