NIA turns over solar irrigation to Kalinga, Zamboanga


    The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has turned over P6.78- million solar pump irrigation projects in Kalinga and in Zamboanga.

    NIA said the P5-million Mercedes solar pump irrigation project in Barangay Mercedes, Zamboanga City is the first of its kind in the area. It is capable of pumping an average of 170 cubic meters in six hours.

    It is also powered by 28 solar panels that can discharge approximately 200 gallons of water per minute and can irrigate five hectares of agricultural land.

    The P1.78- million Romualdez solar pump irrigation project was turned over to Sitio Aba Irrigators Association in Kalinga.

    The project which is expected to irrigate six hectares of land and benefit 15 farmers was funded under the agency’s allocation for establishment of groundwater pump irrigation projects for the year.

    The irrigation system is powered by 30 solar panels and is equipped with a 7.5 horsepower submersible pump lowered to a depth of 52 meters and two units of reservoir tanks. This will allow the cultivation of rice and some high value crops for two cropping seasons per year.

    Ronilio Cervantes, head of NIA’s Kalinga irrigation management office, said with nine to 10 hours of operation in a day, the project has a minimum discharge of 200,000 liters per day.

    “The project uses the power of the sun to move water, without the need for grid power or diesel, which can equate to P270,000 in annual savings at P75 per hour in electricity bills,” Cervantes said. – J. Macapagal