Government expands use of solar irrigation to corn farming
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - February 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government is expanding the coverage of its flagship solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) to include the corn sector in a move aimed at doubling the commodity’s production.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said a corn demonstration farm using SPIS and modern fertigation technology would  be commissioned in Dangcagan in Bukidnon next month.

The P3.5-million SPIS in the corn demo farm is part of the modernization program of the DA to increase farmers’ productivity through the use of advance agricultural technology.

The demo farm will use the drip irrigation technology to provide water for a 10-hectare area which has been planted to corn the traditional way, but coverage area could be expanded to 30 hectares with additional distribution pipes.

The drip system will also be used in employing another advanced farming technology called fertigation where soil nutrients and fertilizers will be applied by mixing these with irrigation water in the reservoir.

“The system is expected to increase corn production from the average four metric tons to at least eight MT and allow two croppings in a year,” Piñol said.

Aside from the corn demo farm using SPIS, the DA will establish four demo farms for irrigated sugarcane fields and two farms for irrigated upland rice projects.

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