A PIONEERING solar-powered irrigation and water supply project in Taraka, a small agricultural town in southern Philippines, nears completion with farmers of 700 hectares of land and over 27,000 residents seen to benefit from the infrastructure, according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
Four of the six irrigation systems are already operational while the water supply system is 60% done, MinDA said in an update posted on Monday following a site visit last week.
The project is the first local government-funded undertaking under MinDA’s water supply program aimed at assisting unserved and underserved municipalities establish sources of water for drinking and agriculture.
State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), a partner in the MinDAWater program, provided a P115-million loan to the Taraka municipal government.
DBP and MinDA signed a partnership agreement in 2019 to support proposed ventures that will bring economic development in Mindanao, especially the Bangsamoro region.
Launched in January 2021, the project had a formal inauguration in August after three of the irrigation systems were completed.
The solar-powered irrigation infrastructure has an automatic system for water extraction and regulation to avoid flooding.
The irrigated farmlands are eyed for the production of high-quality rice, to be branded Premium Maranao Rice.
Other government agencies assisting the program include the Philippine Rice Research Institute, the Bangsamoro region’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture’s Northern Mindanao office, and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization. — MSJ