Solar –Powered Water Pump Benefits Farmers in Siquijor

Created on Monday, 09 June 2014

solarPower outage, energy and water shortage have caused so much disturbance not only to the business world but also to the agricultural economy.

Summer in the province of Siquijor, was not only hot but it dried up most farms. Mercy Quiling of Sitio Agong, Larena, who had been planting vegetables in their backyard, said the recent summer heat caused her plants to wither. She said further that water sources have also dried up making water an expensive commodity at the moment. Quiling added that the dry and hot summer affected even the backyard gardens of the said sitio.

But a group of women who had been farming in Enrique Villanueva, did not have to suffer the effect of the dry spell. The solar-powered water pump established by the Department of Agriculture with the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) in 2012 has been a great help to them. Sourcing the water from the artesian well, the solar energy pumps out water and irrigates the half –hectare techno demo farm.

Jesusa Tamala, 60 yrs old, said that their association composed of nine households are maintaining the said demo-farm which is planted to peanuts, vegetables, melon, squash and mongo.

Tamala recounts that prior to the establishment of the solar –powered water pump, they used to pay a water bill of P250 per month to the water service provider. Now, the association can save the said amount.

The association is grateful that even with the dry spell they were able to harvest P11T for the 1st cropping season last March.

siq1Above shows a group of farmers who were grateful of the solar-powered water pump.

Benefit of the solar dryer extends beyond the farmers in the techno-demo farm. Around 100 households tapped the solar-powered source for potable water supply in the adjacent barangays of Cangmanke, Pari-an, Binoongan, Libo and Kamugao.

According to Edgar Anhao, Crops Division Chief of PAO Siquijor, the residents in the five barangays used to buy water from an expensive source which is about 3-4 kilometers distant from the area, but now their lives have become more comfortable with the innovation. Anhao said that the office will try to propose for more of the solar-powered water pumps in the province in 2015, now that they have seen the impact of the project.