STA. BARBARA, Pangasinan – The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) distributed on Wednesday 70 water pumps and engine sets to several farmers' associations in the province to mitigate the effects of climate change in their production.
NIA Pangasinan division manager Engr. Gertrudes Viado, in her speech during the turn-over ceremony, said the equipment was given for free to the farmers to augment water shortage in some rain-fed areas of the province.
She said they could utilize the equipment for 25 years with proper maintenance.
"NIA gives water pumps and engine sets because of climate change. Some areas are so dry and are not reached by water from the irrigation systems," she added.
Viado said the recipient of 70 farmers associations came from the six districts of the province.
Agosto Navora, one of the recipients, thanked NIA for the project.
"Malaking tulong po ito sa amin. Maraming salamat po (This is a big help to us. Thank you so much)," he said.
Navora added the equipment will benefit over 100 farmers in Bani town, especially those in rain-fed areas.
The farmers association plants rice, corn, and high-value crops, among others.
Pangasinan Governor Ramon Guico III urged the farmers to share with one another the water pumps and engine sets received from NIA.
He also requested the NIA for solar-powered water pumps with the soaring oil price.
NIA deputy administrator for administrative and finance sector Ralph Lauren Du, in an interview, said the agency is putting up more solar-powered pumps as an alternative to the diesel-powered machines.
"Rest assured there will be more solar-powered water pumps by next year all over the country as some are already underway in the province," he said.
Du said although the solar-powered pump's price ranges from PHP5 million to PHP10 million depending on the target land area to be irrigated, it is still cost-efficient given the oil prices at present.
"We are continuously looking for ways to reduce the production cost of our farmers and increase their income through alternative ways," he added.
Du said some 10 solar-powered pumps are being constructed in Lingayen and San Nicolas towns and in the other localities in the province.
Pangasinan has a total rice land area of 182,000 hectares wherein 109,200 hectares were irrigated and 72,800 are non-irrigated or rain-fed. (PNA)