Solar-powered pumps readied for installation to boost crop yields

Posted on August 31, 2016

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture is installing five prototypes of solar-powered irrigation pumps across the country within this year as it tries to find ways to boost crop yields.

“[The] prototypes are now ready for shipment by container from California and it would be ready for installation in five areas all over the country,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on his Facebook post Tuesday.

The Agriculture chief said a solar power technology expert from the United States was tapped for the design of the prototypes.

The US-assembled technology can draw water from underground or from water impounding and catchment basins and may generate excess power for isolated communities, provide potable water supply and generate other livelihood opportunities like vegetable farming during off-planting season for rice.

The Philippines does not currently use solar-powered pump projects, National Irrigation Administration Operations Department Manager Romeo M. Lopez said in a phone interview.

The few established solar-powered pumps which started operations as early as in the 1980s in some areas such as in Tarlac and Infanta may have been left abandoned. -- JCL