P10-M solar irrigation project starts in Lanao del Sur

SOLAR IRRIGATION SYSTEM. Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) Dr. Mohammad Yacob (left), MAFAR Deputy Minister Ammal Solaiman, representatives of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and the Greenergy Corporation lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the PHP10-million solar-powered irrigation system in Butig, Lanao Del Sur on March 12, 2021. The project is expected to irrigate some 40 hectares of rain-fed farmlands after its completion. (Photo courtesy of BIO – BARMM)

Four months from now, farmers in Butig, Lanao del Sur are expected to benefit from a PHP10-million solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS).

The project is currently being undertaken through a joint partnership of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MAFAR – BARMM) and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM).

MAFAR-BARMM Minister Mohammad Yacob said the initiative is subsidized under the Bangon Marawi Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation Project Fund of 2020.

“The SPIS is expected to increase rice production at 40 hectares of rain-fed rice farms in the villages of Cabasaran, Dulangan, and Sundig in Butig,” he told reporters here Tuesday.

Over the weekend, Yacob, together with Deputy Chief Minister Aleem Ali Solaiman and TFBM Representative Johary Lumna, led other local officials in the project’s groundbreaking ceremony in Butig.

Yacob said part of the mandate exercised by MAFAR is to bring the government closer to the Bangsamoro community.

“The regional government wants to deliver services and protect farmers and fisherfolk, and through this project, farmers will be more inspired, and idler lands will be utilized,” he said.

Meanwhile, Solaiman noted that the SPIS is currently the most appropriate modern farming technique needed in the municipality.

“We can assist with farm inputs and other agriculture interventions like provision of machinery, but upon consultation, what they need the most is a water irrigation system,” Solaiman said.

He said many arable lands in Butig are just waiting to be utilized, but the absence of an irrigation system led to its being idle for the past several years.

“If acted upon, it would be a great help for our farmers in Butig and the rest of Lanao del Sur,” Solaiman said.

The Greenergy Corporation, an expert in green renewable energy projects, will strategize the construction of the SPIS within the next 120 days. (Noel Punzalan, PNA)