Tarlac State University and the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office III (DA RFO III) turned over around eight integrated solar-power generators and water/irrigation pumps (ISPIS) units to various farmers' associations and cooperatives in Central Luzon on Friday (September 29) at the TSU Main AVR.
TSU and DA RFO III sealed the project through a memorandum of agreement and deed of donation signing with representatives of farmers' groups from San Miguel town in Bulacan, San Antonio town in Nueva Ecija, Magalang town in Pampanga, Mabalacat City in Pampanga, Sta. Ignacia town in Tarlac, barangays Dalayap and Balanti in Tarlac City, and the Bantog Climate Resilient Farmers Association Inc.
The project, funded by DA RFO III amounting to 6.5 million pesos with a TSU counterpart of 26 percent, aims to address water supply security, agricultural technology innovation, and have a low-cost intervention in farming practices.
Currently on its Phase 3 Technological Demonstration, the project titled "Development, Fabrication and Performance Evaluation of an Integrated Solar Power Generator/Water Irrigation Pump" has produced ISPIS units that are set to be installed on farms in Tarlac, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan.
“Alagaan po natin na lalong ma-enhance at mapaganda (ang proyektong ito) upang lalong matulungan ang mga farmers. Angkinin nating atin po ito," TSU President Dr. Arnold E. Velasco said.
Moreover, Pres. Velasco thanked the DA for its support and efforts to further the lives of the farmers.
Over the years, TSU has helped communities in Tarlac through solar-powered technologies as a solution to the prevailing oil price hike.
"TSU is not only implementing the project but also extending financial support for the past six years in order to express the desire of TSU to help the countryside, especially in our region. We can make the research and development in technology region-based, world-class, and state-of-the-art innovation in terms of rice production," project leader Prof. Rodel T. Botio said.
To show their gratitude to TSU and DA, Nambalan Riverside Agriculture Cooperative Chairman Dr. Josie Valdez and Mawaque Dapdap Sta. Maria Irrigators Farmers Association Chairperson shared their testimonies on how the ISPISs boosted their productivity and profitability, which helped their communities as they were few of the many beneficiaries of the project.
Aside from providing water, the pumps also help generate electricity for different households.
DA Chief Science Research Specialist Dr. Irene Adion and Regional Director for Research Integrated Laboratory and Regulations Dr. Arthur Dayrit also thanked TSU for their contributions and value in agricultural technological expertise.
Dr. Dayrit also wished for more partnerships with TSU, especially in agriculture, as a result of the successful coordination between the two institutions.
At present, TSU is developing a micro-sprinkler overhead solar power irrigation, a promising technology for San Marcelino town in Zambales, which can be used on vegetables and nurseries.
Furthermore, DA and TSU are planning on upscaling the ISPIS to help more farmers with its Phase 4 implementation or the region-based technology adoption and utilization that will be conducted from 2024-2026. (jlmm-OPA)
Photos by Franc Lewis R. Juanatas