In a significant development, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has delivered a solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) worth PHP 18 million to the Rizal Indigent Farmers Irrigators Association in Barangay Calaocan, Rizal, Kalinga province. This eco-friendly and sustainable irrigation solution, handed over by DAR Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III, marks the initial phase of support services provided by DAR to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Kalinga.
Highlighting the agency’s commitment to farmers, Secretary Estrella drew inspiration from the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. and his grandfather, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella Sr., who spearheaded land reform programs. He emphasized the agency’s dedication to creating projects and adopting measures that address the challenges posed by climate change in agrarian reform areas.
The solar-powered irrigation system, according to Adela Damaso, DAR-Kalinga Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer, has the capacity to irrigate 60 hectares of agricultural land, benefiting around 50 ARB households and neighboring farmers. Notably, the SPIS utilizes a cost-efficient and climate change adaptive technology, eliminating the need for diesel fuel. It remains unaffected by power interruptions, operates seamlessly in remote watersheds and rain-fed areas, and requires minimal maintenance, making it an environmentally friendly solution.
This initiative by the Department of Agrarian Reform not only ensures the availability of a reliable water source for farmers but also promotes sustainable farming practices in the face of climate change challenges. The SPIS project sets an example for the adoption of eco-friendly technologies in agriculture, contributing to the long-term prosperity of farmers in Kalinga.