EIGHT local government units (LGUs) in Negros Island Region (NIR) will receive solar-powered water pumps worth P4.8 million from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).

Joyce Wendam, regional executive director of DA-NIR, said the identified LGUs will undergo validation to check the feasibility of operating solar-powered water pumps in their respective areas.

The beneficiaries are the cities of La Carlota, Victorias and San Carlos, and municipalities of Pontevedra, Salvador Benedicto and San Enrique in Negros Occidental.

Two units of solar-powered water pumps will be given to Negros Oriental, particularly for municipalities of Zamboanguita and Manjuyod or Tayasan.

Each unit costs P600,000.

Wendam said the validation is scheduled this year and the actual project implementation will be in the early part of 2017.

The distribution of solar-powered pumps is under the 2017 Small-Scale Irrigation Project of DA-BSWM.

It is aimed at increasing and maintaining agricultural productivity even amid calamities and disasters like El Niño and La Niña phenomenon by helping farmers reduce production cost through electricity bill savings.

Wendam said the project would also impact positively the environment as it uses renewable energy source.

The agency has yet to assess who will take charge of the utilization of the facility upon turnover, whether the local government or through farm cooperatives, she added.