THE National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will be providing solar-powered irrigation pumps to rice farmers to minimize the use of diesel and gasoline in making rice sufficiency attainable.
The solar irrigation is an alternative to using diesel-powered or gasoline-powered engine that usually to pump surface water.
“Yung sa augmentation natin ng patubig ay dati kasi nagbibigay ng pumps, pero diesel-powered or gasoline-powered. Para ma lessen yung cost nila sa maintenance, bigyan na lang natin ng solar-powered,” NIA administrator Ricardo Visaya said.
He added that this will also help in addressing the effects of El Niño to rice farmers.
“Alam natin na yung effect ng El Niño every other year, for 2020, we will address that. Yung experience natin ng 2019 El Niño will not be experienced sa 2021,” the NIA official said.
“Kaya nagko-concentrate kami sa paggawa ng mga pumps. But more on surface water, not ground water. Ibig sabihin, kukuha tayo ng tubig i-priority natin sa mga water basins natin sa mga ilog na malalaki,” he added.
Visaya said there will be no irrigation fees collected from small farmers and those who own or farm in an 8-hectare and below lands, as this is one of NIA’s assistance to rice farmers.
“Aside from that, dati wala tayong suporta sa CIS (Conmmunal Irrigation Systems). Kaya ngayon merong kunting subsidy na binibigay natin sa kanila,” he added.
Visaya was in Cagayan de Oro City last week to lead the turnover of the 15 complete irrigation projects to the irrigators’ association in Northern Mindanao.
The P152-million projects with the service area of 2,618 hectares in the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and Bukidnon will benefit some 1,906 farmers.