A recently completed solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) in Sibalom, Antique aims to increase farmers’ average yield of 3.7 metric tons to 4.5 metric tons per hectare.

The P5.68 million SPIS was entrusted to municipal agriculturist Albert Estoya by Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny F. Piñol during the Biyaheng Bukid held in Culasi last March 2017.

DA’s funded SPIS in Brgy. Panlagangan in Sibalom has a total service area of 30 hectares rainfed rice land. It also has 100 solar panels that can generate about 27 kilowatts of electricity to irrigate up to three hectares of rice areas daily.

Sibalom contains the largest rice producing rice area in the province and is called Antique’s rice bowl.

In the meantime, Samuel Cordero Sr., chairman of Sibalom Alliance of Rural Based Organization (SARBO), said that their group will manage the operation and sustainability of the project.

SARBO consists of 72 registered farmers associations in Sibalom with more than 5,000 farmer-members.

Another SPIS unit is said to be established soon in Brgy. San Pedro, San Jose in Antique.