THE NATIONAL Irrigation Administration (NIA) inaugurated two solar-powered pump irrigation projects worth P38.24 million in Nueva Ecija on July 27.

One of the two is worth P20.46 million, installed in the town of Peñaranda. It will serve 228.88 hectares of farms in several communities in Peñaranda as well as in Gapan City.

The other is the P17.78-million San Isidro solar powered pump project, which will irrigate 323.28 hectares of agricultural areas.

Rosalinda B. Bote, Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS) department manager, said the installation of solar-powered pumps is part of NIA’s efforts to improve its service.

“The use of innovative solar pumps helps reduce cost inputs in farms as it implores cost effective alternative power source. It therefore promotes poverty alleviation and income increase among our partner irrigators associations,” Ms. Bote said.

For his part, NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya said the agency is targeting to allocate a P1-billion budget for solar-powered pump projects in 2022.

“Modernizing the existing use of diesel-powered pumps or generators into solar-powered pumps will significantly benefit the farmers in the long-run because aside from its cost effectiveness and efficiency, these projects ensure year-round irrigation supply that may result to an increase in farm produce allowing third cropping season,” Mr. Visaya said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave