DA turns over P5.2-M irrigation system for Bukidnon’s upland crops, rainfed cornfields

MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon, May 11 (PIA)--The Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 and Manolo Fortich local government unit (LGU) recently turned-over the first Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) established in the town’s barangay Lingion.

Carlota S. Madriaga, DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations, said that the P5.2 million SPIS is equipped with a 48-piece solar array and a 15-horsepower irrigation pump that can irrigate about 15-20 hectares of croplands, which could be expanded up to 50 hectares if additional pipes are installed.

“We wish to accomplish the department's twin aims of “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita” for our farmers and fishermen. With the ready water supply, it [SPIS] would make it much easier for upland farmers to plant even during drought, resulting in improved production and profits. With this development, DA-10 commends Manolo Fortich LGU—thru its agriculture and engineering offices—for their prompt acceptance and implementation of the project,” she said.

Sitio Gaboc in barangay Lingion is the first farming community in Manolo Fortich town to receive the P5.2 million solar-powered irrigation system that would directly benefit farmers growing corn and other upland crops. (DA-10)

Madriaga explained that the project's primary goal is to irrigate rainfed corn fields and other upland crops, directly benefiting 20-30 farmers in Sitio Gaboc of barangay Lingion, Manolo Fortich municipality, while emphasizing that this project is funded through DA-10's pooled savings in 2018, following the completion of solar-powered corn technology projects at its research stations in Malaybalay City and Dangcagan town.

Meanwhile, Manolo Fortich Mayor Clive Quiño urged the beneficiaries to take care of it, with the barangay council taking the lead.

This is because he knows that the African Swine Fever threat could affect corn demand.

“This is not an easy initiative, since it costs P5.2 million and is financed by the people's taxes. It could be implemented in any other municipality, but we have been chosen to receive this assistance. With this large project comes great responsibility, so we must take care of it so that it could benefit more people,” Quiño said.

He also sought technical assistance to update local farmers that would encourage them to engage in high-value crop production in the future as he pinned hopes that Manolo Fortich, along with the towns of Talakag and Lantapan, would become a vegetable basket.

In a message during the turn over ceremony, Lingion Punong Barangay (village chief) Elbern Onahon thanked the DA-10 for ensuring cooperation to increase farmers’ production for adequate and reliable food supply.

“This is a big favor accorded to our barangay. We are very grateful to DA-10, Manolo Fortich LGU, especially to Municipal Agriculture Officer Gemma Cania, and those who are instrumental in the completion of this SPIS project,” Onahon said.

The village chief also assured the farmers’ usual cooperation to ensure sustainability of the irrigation project as a powerful means of achieving inclusive growth. (DA10/PIA Bukidnon)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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