Batac: Ilocos Norte town eyes solar power irrigation system to aid farmers

Photo courtesy by Leilanie Adriano

With climate change threatening crops, the city government of Batac in Ilocos Norte is eyeing to establish a solar power irrigation system in Barangay San Mateo, where a small water impounding dam is located.

Batac City Mayor Albert Chua confirmed this on Friday as representatives of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) conducted a field validation of the city’s various infrastructure projects for funding by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

He said the proposed solar power irrigation system is a big boost to increase the productivity of farmers as it will maximize water collection and storage to augment water supplies and increase the likelihood of growing high-value crops during the summer.

“The solar irrigation system will be a big help to our farmers. Irrigation is always a challenge in Batac that is why we continue to dredge our water ways and construct more farm reservoirs to address water shortage especially during summer,” he said.

The proposed solar irrigation project is located in an area overlooking the national highway connecting Batac to Banna town.

Chua said the location is feasible for the proposed project because it has continuous water supply even during summer time.

“We have checked on other areas and the site is the most feasible for solar irrigation to benefit farmers in rain-fed areas for them to save on fuel. To help achieve food sufficiency, the Marcos administration has been pushing for a nationwide solar-powered irrigation program which include Batac City in Ilocos Norte as one of the pilot sites,” he said.

“We are grateful to our governor for recommending Batac as one of the field validation sites of the CCC. We hope that this will materialize soon,” he added.

Apart from constructing solar irrigation system, the city government is also urging its farmers to plant drought-resistant crops as response to climate change. (Leilanie Adriano)

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