TAPPING technology and the sun, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Central Visayas has turned over the P5.9 million solar-powered irrigation system to farmers in Carmen, Bohol.

During the turnover ceremony, DA-Central Visayas Director Salvador Diputado said the newly installed Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) project will increase the rice production in the area since it will now be possible for rice farmers to have three croppings in a year, unlike before when farmers only got to harvest twice.

“With SPIS, farmers will no longer be dependent on the rain,” Diputado said.

Farmers in Katipunan, Carmen, Bohol can now expect increased rice production.

The P5.9 million SPIS, which is seen to address the water problem of the farmers’ rice fields, was formally turned over on June 16, 2020 to the Katipunan Rice and Fish Farmers Association (Karffa) of Katipunan, Carmen, Bohol represented by its president Ted Lomod.

The turnover was timely since the farmers have already started planting rice.

“This irrigation project is expected to benefit 15 hectares of rice land,” Diputado said.

The SPIS in Carmen is the second fully functional irrigation system in Bohol that is solar-powered.

Diputado said this project is in line with the DA’s Food Resiliency Program amid this coronavirus pandemic.

Diputado said that so far, the DA through the Department of Agrarian Reform has allotted more than P100 million worth of agricultural assistance to Carmen, as part of the Rice Resiliency Program.

Free inbred rice seeds

Meanwhile, more than 14,000 rice farmers in Central Visayas were able to receive free inbred rice seeds.

With the onset of the wet season planting, some 14,051 rice farmers from Bohol and Negros Oriental provinces were able to receive free inbred rice seeds through the Rice Competiveness Enhancement Fund-Seed Component of the Department of Agriculture-PhilRice.

Under the 2020 wet season planting, a total of 51,910 bags has been allocated for Central Visayas, with 19,176 bags already delivered to the two provinces, as of June 11. These seeds can cover a total estimated rice area of 9,098 hectares.

Of the total seed allocation, PhilRice has delivered 11,918 bags with 11,083 bags distributed to 18 local governments units (LGUs) of Bohol benefitting 7,602 rice farmer. For Negros Oriental, some 7,258 bags were delivered with 7,113 bags distributed to 14 LGUs. (JOB)