SPIS brings CamSur farmers more income
Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) has brought more income to the farmers of Barangay Malawag in Nabua, Camarines Sur as it allows them plant for three cropping seasons per year as opposed to once a year.
Edgardo Ruin, president of the Aguik-Ican East Farmers Association (AEFA), said that the SPIS s instrumental for the increase in their harvest.
“Here in Malawag, we can only plant on less than 20 hectares before. But now we can do 35 because there is sufficient water thanks to the SPIS. Almost all 42 members of AEFA are benefiting from it,” said Ruiz.
The SPIS is inexpensive to maintain as it is not dependent on fuel or electricity. It is also environment-friendly as it uses renewable energy from the sun using solar panels instead of burning fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases. With proper maintenance, the benefits of SPIS can last over a long period. Studies show that SPIS can last for 30 years or more with minimum maintenance cost.
With the establishment of the SPIS, the Malawag farmers do not have to spend on diesel like they did before as they had to consume More or less 180 liters of diesel in a hectare of ricefield in one cropping. If a farmer irrigates his field 15 times using 12 liters of diesel per day. At P42.00/liter, a farmer spends P7,560/hectare on fuel every cropping.
Collectively, the Malawag farmers, cultivating the 35 hectares covered by the SPIS, were able to save P226,800 in one cropping and P453,600 in two croppings. From the third cropping, which they were able to achieve lately with their SPIS, the farmers collectively earned P487,500.
The average recorded increase in yield was 500 kilos per hectare per cropping. But there were some who got 1,000 kilos increase per hectare. Rice buffer stocks generated by the Aguik-ican Malawag SPIS in three croppings based on the increase in harvest per hectare could be 52,500 kilos of palay (525 cavans rice) for every 500 kilos increase; and 105,000 kilos of palay (1,050 cavans rice) for every 1,000 kilos increase.
The said SPIS is one of the 14 SPIS installed by the DA in the Bicol region. It is equipped with 60 solar or photovoltaic panels and inverter which converts energy from sunlight to electricity to run the subsurface pump. The SPIS has the capacity to pump an average volume of 1,000 cubic meters in 6-8 hours. It is also equipped with pump motor, housed in a 2 meter x 2 meter pump house, and 100 meter pipe for water distribution. It has 11.54 meter x 9.44 meter x 2.02 meter water tank with a capacity of 220 cubic meters water.
The pump, connected to a creek, can discharge 35.42 liters per second, while the supply pipe can discharge 20.62 liters per second. Maximum tank volume could be achieved in 1.73 hours when the supply pipe is closed and 4.13 hours when the supply pipe is open.