The Solar Pump Irrigation Project of NIA Region 9 in Zamboanga City, being the first solar-powered irrigation in the whole region, is situated in barangay Mercedes, Zamboanga City, and can irrigate five (5) hectares of agricultural land which will benefit poorly irrigated and rain-dependent farmers in the area.
It is a community development project initiated by Congressman Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe, 2nd District Representative of Zamboanga City, with a total project cost of Php5 million. The construction is under the supervision of Zamboanga Basilan Sulu Tawi2x Regional Sub-Office (ZAMBASULTA RSO) Acting Head, Engr. Robert Bernie L. Rada II.
This adoption to new methodology is one of the Region’s initiative to enhance water sufficiency and increase economic advantage for farmers particularly in barangay Mercedes, which is considered as the biggest rice granary in Zamboanga City.
The solar powered centrifugal pump gets its water source from a spring and can pump an average of 170 cubic meter in six (6) hours. The irrigation system is powered by 28 solar panels that can discharge approximately 200 gallons per minute. The system is also equipped with surveillance cameras and fortified with security fence so as to ensure utmost safety and security measures.
On September 15, 2020, technicians and personnel of ZAMBASULTA RSO together with the contractor and officers of Mercedes Culianan Cabaluay Talabaan Irrigators Association (MCCT IA) performed a successful post construction test run. With confidence of a positive outcome of this project, the officers of MCCT IA expressed their gratitude for this opportunity as it will maximize the use of their farmland through sufficient water supply. Moreover, this will increase their yield as it will enable them to better strategize planting and harvesting to avoid adverse weather conditions. The official Turn-over of the said project to MCCT IA is scheduled mid of October 2020.
The fully constructed Solar Pump Irrigation Project in Mercedes is just one of the innovative irrigation programs of the Region. Within this year, five more similarly constructed projects are expected to be fully completed, specifically Manicahan II Small Irrigation Project (SIP), Manga II SIP, Boalan II SIP, Bolong II SIP, and Buenavista Pump Irrigation System (PIS) with 53.83%, 53.13% 50.21%, 45.62%, 27.38% completion as of September 10, 2020 respectively.
Along with continuous enhancement on innovative irrigation, NIA Region 9 with the support of Regional Manager Rory F. Avance, works hand in hand with IAs, contractors, LGU, and other stakeholders in fulfilling its vision towards improving the quality of life of Filipino farmers.