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          SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION SYSTEM. A solar-powered irrigation system will be installed in Norzagaray, Bulacan through the collaborative efforts of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office III, Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation Inc., and Grundfos Pumps Philippines. The project was launched on Wednesday (Oct. 2, 2019). (Photo by Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation Inc.)

          CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan—Three units of solar-powered irrigation system will be installed in some nine hectares of farmlands in Barangay Pinagtulayan, Norzagaray, this province in an effort to boost the production of agricultural crops in the town.

          The initiative is under the Solar-powered Irrigation System for Farming Communities Enhanced Project dubbed as "SOLution", a collaborative effort of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office III, Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation Inc. (ASSIST), and Grundfos Pumps Philippines.

          The project that was launched on Wednesday is seen to uplift the lives of farmers in Norzagaray town through enhanced productivity of agricultural crops with lower irrigation costs by using solar energy instead of diesel fuel and electricity to operate an irrigation pump.

          Governor Daniel Fernando thanked those who are behind the project, which, according to him, will be a great help to Bulakenyo farmers.

          “Magandang oportunidad ito sa ating mga kalalawigan bilang magiging kaluwagan ito sa mga Bulakenyong magsasaka. Hangad natin na lalo pang matulungan ang ating mga magsasaka kaya naman lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa mga nasa likod ng proyektong ito (This is a good opportunity for our provincemates as it will give relief to the Bulakenyo farmers. It is our desire to give more help to our farmers, that is why we are thankful to those behind the project),” Fernando said.

          Gilbert Luna, a representative of Grundfros Pumps Philippines, said the solar-powered irrigation system will help boost farmers' production, aside from being environment-friendly.

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          Janina Astilla, project manager of ASSIST, likewise thanked project partners, Grundfros Pumps Philippines and German firm KFW Bankengruppe, for making SOLution possible.

          “Kami po ay isang non-governmental organization na nagpapatupad ng iba’t ibang development programs and projects kaya naman po gusto kong pasalamatan ang mga partner namin dito sa proyektong ito dahil ang mga proyekto ng ASSIST po ay hindi magiging posible kung wala ang tulong ng mga donor (We are a non-governmental organization that implements different development programs and projects. Thus, we would like to thank our partners in this project because the ASSIST projects will not be possible without the help of the donors),” she said.

          Meanwhile, Teofilo Bartolome, a farmer-beneficiary of SOLution, is confident that the solar-powered irrigation system will greatly help in their development.

          “Kung ito po talaga ay magtutuluy-tuloy, ito na po talaga ang simula ng aming pag-unlad bilang magsasaka dahil nabigyan ng solusyon ang problema namin sa pagpapatubig (If this project will keep going, this will really be the start of our development as farmers because our problem on irrigation has been given a solution),” he said.

          In line with the SOLution project, ASSIST will also conduct free trainings for the farmers on best practices for small scale irrigation as well as field visits to other farming communities for knowledge-sharing. (PNA)

           

           

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