THE National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said it is set to direct a major portion of its expanded budget for next year to solar-powered irrigation projects.
“This additional budget will be concentrated in our solar pump irrigation project, NIA Administrator Eduardo G. Guillen said in an interview with PTV.
Mr. Guillen added solar irrigation systems promise rapid installation of between one and three months.
The agency has about 183 solar powered irrigation sites in the pipeline for 2024. It is budgeting about P1.72 billion to irrigate 2,168 hectares.
The NIA is also proposing an additional 791 potential sites across 39,694 hectares, requiring an outlay of P30 billion, for solar-powered irrigation projects.
“We all know that irrigation infrastructure is one of the keys to food security… higit sa lahat matutugunan natin ang El Niño,” (most of all we could address the impact of El Niño) he added.
The government weather service, known as PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), has said that El Niño will peak in late 2023 or early 2024. — Adrian H. Halili