Solar Powered Irrigation: Solution to Agri Water Woes
Just recently, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said solar-powered irrigation pumps could hold the key to making the country self-sufficient in rice production, as they are cheaper, faster to put up, and allows more rice cropping.
In an article, Secretary Piñol was quoted as saying "We have land, but the issue is providing water there. So, we must think out of the box."
The Philippines is an agricultural country and one of the world's largest rice importers. However, based on Department of Agriculture data, out of the 3.9 million hectares of rice farms nationwide, only 1.2 million hectares are irrigated or established with water supply. The bigger 2.7 million hectares depend on rain. In most cases, the fields can only yield one crop a year when rain is sufficient.
Solaready Philippines recognizes this challenge in agriculture and fully supports installation of solar-power irrigation pumps for rice farms. Matter of fact, as early as 1981, Solaready PH founder Mr. Puckett has already built solar-powered irrigation systems for rice fields of Hacienda Bigaa owned by Don Enrique Zobel.
The two were staunch supporters of solar-powered pump as it cost-effectively utilizes sun's energy and transports water for farming, and both believe it could be used especially in developing countries such as the Philippines. Our farmers could plant twice a year with proper irrigation system powered with solar panels.
As Secretary Piñol related, indeed, it is impossible for the country to catch up with rice demand if we just rely on the conventional way of irrigating.