First solar-powered irrigation system in PH now operational
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Department of Agriculture (DA) finally commissioned its first fully-operational Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) in Barangay Manubuan, Matalam, North Cotabato, which could irrigate as much as 40-hectares.
With a cost of only P6.4 million, the Manubuan-Matalam SPIS, which was completed in a record time of only 60 days, officially becomes the first Solar-Powered Irrigation System to be commissioned by the DA after a proto-type was inaugurated by President Rodrigo Duterte in M’lang, North Cotabato in March last year.
Constructed by RU Foundry of Bacolod City, the Manubuan-Matalam-SPIS draws water from a creek beside the former rain-fed rice farms using a 15-horsepower Lorentz surface pump from Germany.
Water is then pumped up to a reservoir capable of holding 350-cubic meters of water and then distributed to the rice fields using pipes with valve heads which are opened to irrigate the fields.
The system could fully irrigate four hectares in one day and could theoritically cover a 60-hectare area in 15 days.
The existing pipe-layout of the Manubuan, Matalam SPIS, however, only covers 40 hectares.
A total of 116 more units are now undergoing construction in other parts of the country.
“At an average area of 40-hectares, the 117 SPIS set to be completed this year will irrigate an estimated to irrigate 4,680 hectares this year alone,” Piñol said.