DAR Secretary John Castriciones and La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda and Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan led the ribbon cutting and turn over ceremony of the solar power irrigation system to the Alno Rural Community Development Cooperative (ARCDC), the agrarian reform beneficiary organization on Thursday, April 8.
The irrigation project amounting to P800, 000.00 is expected to irrigate a total of 15 hectares of farmlands benefiting 233 members of the cooperative.
The farm area in Alno is mostly planted with cut flowers such as roses, anthuriums, and mums which are sold in Baguio City and in Metro Manila markets but there are also plantations of highland and low land vegetables such as beans and tomatoes.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are here to formally turn over the solar powered irrigation system, and I am very glad that there are a lot of beneficiaries who would benefit from the project. I hope that we will be able to continue our thrust, our commitment to really enrich agriculture,” Castriciones said in his message during the program at the Kadoorie Elementary School.
The Secretary said that the DAR was supposed to provide five solar powered irrigation project to the municipality but due to the problem on the water sources, only one pushed through. But he assured that they will still be providing the other projects soon.
“With the technology we have right now, we will be able to find a way on how to improve irrigation in your place, and I commit that the moment that we will be able to tap a good source of water we will add additional programs like the solar powered irrigation system that will enhance the economic lives of our farmers,” the Secretary added.
ARCDC Chairperson Ernesto Dongbo expressed gratitude to the DAR for the support it is extending to help coop members and other farmers in the community to improve their lives.
Dongbo said that farmers in the area are using electrical pump to bring water from the nearby river to their farmlands and this is an added cost to them. With the new irrigation system, farmers can save the cost of electricity which they could use to buy other basic needs for their families instead.
The irrigation system is among the many support provided by the DAR to the cooperative that really benefited the members as well as the community. Among the projects provided by DAR include the construction of the cooperative building of the ARCDC, trainings on cooperative management and operations, provision of farm equipment such as shredders and power sprayers and a water refilling station.
Mayor Salda also expressed gratitude to the DAR for the continuing support to the farmers of Alno and the municipality. He said the Alno project is unique since it will provide water for mostly cut flowers, which is a popular product of La Trinidad, instead of the usual irrigation systems for rice or vegetable farms.
The newly turned over irrigation system is very timely and would be usable particularly during the summer season, he added.
The mayor also announced that the local government will provide funding for the flood control within the water source of the irrigation system as counterpart of the municipal government.
“Let us continue working together for the development of the farmers and the constituents of Alno and La Trinidad particularly if there are more projects that would benefit the other barangays of the municipality,” Salda said in his message. (JDP/RMC-PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis