BACOLOD City – Around 60 farming families in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental turned to solar power to irrigate their farmlands.
These farmers, who are into rice and sugarcane production, are benefiting from the P5.99-million solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) funded by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a Facebook post on Sunday the irrigation facility in Barangay Bato is the first of its kind in the province.
“Rice and sugarcane farmers in Hinigaran are now enjoying the blessings of the magic of modern agriculture technology,” he said.
Piñol added the SPIS could irrigate 60 hectares of rice farms and 40 hectares of sugarcane fields.
The facility in the southern Negros town is one of the almost 200 units being established all over the country as part of the DA’s modernization program, he added.
Provincial agriculturist Japhet Masculino said “previously, farmers either relied on rain or used diesel engine driven pumps,” adding they have also tried using electric-driven pumps but the cost was too high for the farmers.
“With this solar power, the farmers will save a lot of money and it will increase their productivity,” he added. (With a report from PNA/PN)