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Level up! Solar source powers sugar irrigation system in Moises Padilla

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In a pioneering development, solar power will be tapped for the irrigation of sugarcane farms in Moises Padilla town in Negros Occidental province.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration said it is building a model sugarcane farm in the town, and expects to complete it within this year.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced this at the start of the first Philippine Sugarcane Industry Mechanization Expo at the SRA Visayas office (https://thedailyguardian.net/negros/town-pioneer-solar-powered-irrigation-sugarcane-farms/).

“Through this project, we will determine how big the increase in production is,” he said.

Once completed, the farm will irrigate 50 hectares of sugarcane farm in Moises Padilla.

Negros Occidental produces 60 percent of the country’s sugar output, the SRA noted.

Expected to cost P5 million, the solar-powered irrigation system is up for bidding this month. Piñol said the allocation was included in the 2018 budget.

He pointed out the need to provide irrigation for farmers to earn more.

In 2017, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the SRA identified three pilot areas in the province for the solar-powered irrigation project.

After Moises Padilla, two other projects are also up for implementation in 2019.

Meanwhile, SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica said the irrigation project should boost local sugarcane farmers.

“SRA will not stop in looking for new innovations for sugarcane farm development like proper and economic way of land preparation, drainage, cultivation, weed control, fertilization, and mechanization,” Serafica said.