May 24, 2024

RIZAL, Kalinga – The recently completed solar-powered irrigation pump in the municipality is now irrigating 72 hectares of rice land benefitting 60 farmers.

The Santor Rizal Solar Pump Irrigation Project (SPIP) Phase 2 was implemented by the National Irrigation Administration-Cordillera and funded under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program-Irrigation Component.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. earlier announced the government is building more solar-powered irrigation system projects amid the El Niño pheno-menon.

The solar-powered irrigation pump is usually implemented in areas with higher elevation than the source of water, or in areas where the nearest possible source of water is underground, said NIA Regional Manager Benito Espique, Jr.

The Santor SPIP project entailed the installation of 10 solar-powered submersible pumps, 10 reservoir tanks, and 750 meters of distribution pipe.

Seven solar-powered irrigation systems were completed in Kalinga in 2023 under the NIA’s Establishment of Groundwater Pump Irrigation Project Solar Power-Driven Pump Irrigation Projects fund, which include the Nayud Balani SPIP in Barangay Lucog; Zipla SPIP in Barangay Nambaran, and the Mallong Olosan SPIP, all in Tabuk City.

With the innovative technology using the power of the sun to move water, without the need for grid power or diesel, farmers are no longer burdened by expensive fuel prices, translating to thousands of pesos saved in annual operating costs, according to NIA-Cordillera.

Solar-powered irrigation is among the measures identified by DA to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon. – Iryll Gay O. Sicnao