CITY OF MALOLOS – In an aim to ensure farming sustainability and increase agricultural production of Bulakenyo farmers, the Provincial Government of Bulacan through its Provincial Agriculture Office supports the launching of the Solar-powered Irrigation System for Farming Communities Enhanced Project dubbed as SOLution in Brgy. Pinagtulayan, Norzagaray, Bulacan recently, which serves as the pilot site for the project in the country.
In collaboration with Grundfos Pumps Philippines, Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation Inc. (ASSIST) and Department of Agriculture – RFO 3, over 9 hectares of farm land with 3 units of solar-powered irrigation system will be installed for a more accessible way of irrigation by using solar energy instead of diesel fuel and electricity to operate an irrigation pump.
Hence, the project is expected to increase the income of farming communities in the town of Norzagaray through improved productivity of crops with lower irrigation costs.
Governor Daniel R. Fernando also said that the project will be a great opportunity to Bulakenyo farmers and expressed his gratitude to the project organizers for choosing the town of Norzagaray as their pilot site.
“Magandang oportunidad ito sa ating mga kalalawigan bilang magiging kaluwagan ito sa mga Bulakenyong magsasaka. Hangad natin na lalo pang matulungan ang ating mga magsasaka kaya naman lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa mga nasa likod ng proyektong ito,” the governor said.
Accordingly, Gilbert Luna, a representative from Grundfros Pumps Philippines, said that the solar-powered irrigation system will not only help the farmers in their production but it is also environment-friendly.
“Madalas gasolina ang ginagamit ng mga magsasaka sa irigasyon. Dito sa solar-powered irrigation system natin, inaasahan namin na malaki ang matitipid ng mga magsasaka dahil walang bayad ang solar energy. Bukod pa, hindi ito maglalabas ng sobrang carbon dioxide na masama sa environment.” he said.
Janina Astilla, project manager from ASSIST also expressed her gratitude to the project partners namely Grundfros Pumps Philippines and KFW Bankengruppe in making SOLution possible.
“Kami po ay isang non-governmental organization na nagpapatupad ng iba’t ibang development programs and projects kaya naman po gusto kong pasalamatan ang mga partner namin dito sa proyektong ito dahil ang mga proyekto ng ASSIST po ay hindi magiging posible kung wala ang tulong ng mga donor,” she said.
Meanwhile, Teofilo Bartolome, a farmer beneficiary of SOLution, believes that having the solar-powered irrigation system is the start of their development.
“Kung ito po talaga ay magtutuluy-tuloy dito sa amin, ito na po talaga ang simula ng aming pag-unlad bilang magsasaka at kahit papaano, nabigyan ng solusyon ang problema namin sa pagpapatubig.” he said.
In line with the SOLution project, ASSIST will also conduct free trainings to the farmers regarding the best practices for small scale irrigation and will do field visits to other farming communities for knowledge-sharing.