According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) have been considered as a “reliable and affordable energy” source, significantly reducing the expenses of farmers in field irrigation. 

This has been evident in the recent report of the Bataan Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council (PAFC) monitoring team, along with the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), on the programs and projects funded by the Department of Agriculture. It has been revealed that associations who received SPIS aggregated high vegetable production and net income in the province.

A member of the Bangad Vegetables and Rice Growers Association (BVRGA) disclosed that the SPIS located in Barangay Santo Domingo, Orion, Bataan has benefitted them. With the SPIS, their net income can reach up to  PhP138,000 per planting season in just one hectare of vegetable plantation which include tomatoes, bitter gourd and turnip. 

Aside from the SPIS, DA-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) also funded the Nursery House Facility.

One of the beneficiaries of the facility was Pantingan Farmers and Agrarian Cooperative (PFAC). According to the report, it has been operational and is being used for propagation of trees like narra, mahogany and other fruit-bearing trees in Barangay Pantingan, Pilar, Bataan.

During the monitoring activity, seedlings were transferred into pots and were sold  at a  retail price of PhP10 per pot.

Aside from BVRGA and PFAC, the farm equipment and machinery were also given to Tanato Upland Farmers Association, Mango Growers Association, New Ibayo Multi Purpose Cooperative, Magsasaka ng Pulo Association (MPA), Lower Tiwala Farmers Association (LTFA), Pilar Panikian Irrigators Association (PPIA) and the Nagwaling Diwa Farmers Association (NDFA), and Pentors Farmers Association (PFA).

In Dinalupihan, Bataan, the Mobile Flash Dryer, Combine Harvester and Four Wheel drive tractor were given to PFA. The association will also come up with a “first come, first serve” policy on the use of machinery and farm equipment and will have a rental fee for every use.

Meanwhile, the Farm-to-Market Roads (FMRs) in  barangays Mabatang in Abucay, Sto. Domingo in Orion, and San Simon in Dinalupihan were all in good condition and have provided accessibility, convenience and improved mobility to farmers in transporting their harvested palay, farm inputs and other agricultural products to and from  the market.

The report said that the Barangay Local Government Units maintain the FMR projects by preventing the entry of hauling trucks to avoid damage on the concrete pavement. The residents were also encouraged to clean the FMRs to maintain the soundness of the project.

On the other hand, the team found out that  the walk behind rice transplanter given to the Tabon Bato Irrigators Association,  in Barangay Laon, Abucay Bataan has been unutilized due to damaged  picking fork.   This spare part is  unavailable  in the area. | JB (Photos courtesy of PCAF-WeTrack)