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DAR Grants PHP50 Million Solar Irrigation Systems To Ilocos Norte Farmers

DAR Grants PHP50 Million Solar Irrigation Systems To Ilocos Norte Farmers

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The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is set to distribute PHP50 million worth of solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) to Ilocos Norte’s agrarian reform communities to help farmers reduce production cost and boost output.

Officials of DAR and Ilocos Norte on Wednesday signed a memorandum of agreement at the Governor’s office at the Capitol in this city for the implementation of the DAR project called Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS), eyed to reduce farmers’ production cost by around 60 percent since they no longer need to buy gasoline for their generator sets.

“With the provision of solar irrigation projects, our farmers would no longer spend much on electricity to irrigate their farmlands,” DAR-Ilocos Region director Maria Ana Francisco said in an interview.

She said provision of irrigation is one the primary goals of DAR, an agency mandated to distribute land to the landless and help farmers with small landholdings cope with the challenges of farming in remote areas.

“We hope to implement this in three months to benefit our farmers in the 11 towns of Ilocos Norte,” she added.

In a separate interview, lawyer Pancho Jose, chief of staff of Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc, and the director of the Ilocos Norte Agriculture, Fisheries and Extension Center (INAFEC), said he is thankful to DAR for providing full irrigation support to farmers.

“The solar-powered irrigation systems will be spread out in strategic areas of Ilocos Norte where it fit the requirements and needs of farmers. We hope to increase their yield in two folds for rice production and high-value crops [once completed],” he said.

Jose said about 20 units of two types of solar-irrigation projects will be installed — the PHP1.3 million unit that can irrigate three to five hectares and the PHP5 million unit that can irrigate eight to 10 hectares. (PNA)