Duterte com­mits P41B for so­lar­pow­ered ir­ri­ga­tion projects

Watchmen Daily Journal - - Business -

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte has com­mit­ted P41 bil­lion for the es­tab­lish­ment of so­lar-pow­ered ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem in the Philip­pines in the next three years, Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Em­manuel Piñol said.

“The idea of pro­vid­ing wa­ter by big ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem is ac­tu­ally an agedold idea. What we need are small ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems be­cause we have small land­hold­ings,” he told par­tic­i­pants of Tues­day’s Food Se­cu­rity Sum­mit here for the Visayas re­gions.

Piñol said right now there is an on­go­ing con­struc­tion of 169 small river sys­tems in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try as they looked for­ward to ir­ri­gate 500,000 hectares of new rice farms. Each so­lar­pow­ered sys­tem costs P6.7 mil­lion each.

In a fol­low up in­ter­view, he said the so­lar pow­erir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem is not in­tended to com­pete with big ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems. “It is in­tended to com­ple­ment the big ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems,” he said.

Be­fore the year ends, Iloilo City is ex­pected to ground break its P11.2-bil­lion Jalaur River Mul­ti­pur­pose Project (JRMP) II.

Once com­pleted, the project is ex­pected to pro­vide ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter to 9,500 hectares of new ir­ri­ga­ble ar­eas and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of 22,340 hectares that are cov­ered by the ex­ist­ing ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems cov­er­ing 23 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and two cities in Iloilo.

Dur­ing the same event, Piñol also pre­sented the loan pro­gram of the depart­ment made avail­able to farm­ers un­der the Pro­duc­tiv­ity Loan Easy Ac­cess (PLEA). It is payable in eight years with a six per­cent in­ter­est per an­num. Farm­ers can avail of loans up to P50,000 per hectare.

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