BOAC, MARINDUQUE. It was a groundbreaking Independence Day when a solar water pump was installed and turned-over by AGREA to one of its farming communities in Kulilis, Torrijos on 12 June 2019.
With El Niño made worst by the adverse effects of climate change, this initiative of AGREA is relevant and needed more than ever. For this year alone, AGREA’s partner farmers in Marinduque have lost a year’s worth of turmeric harvest, because of the lack of an efficient water system to combat the effects of El Niño.
Farmers all over the Philippines experience this same challenge. According to Department of Agriculture’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management, El Niño in our country has been extreme this year: agricultural damage of El Niño costs Php 4.35 billion.
For 30 years, 12 of AGREA partner farmers who are managing 17 hectares of lands in Kulilis cluster, were dependent on a rain-fed water system to sustain their farm crops. El Niño and the changing climate is a real challenge for them, since they have no efficient source of water. The 30-year challenge was resolved in 30 days. Through AGREA’s “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative” of providing solar water pump for its farming communities, and with One Renewable Energy (OREE), a solar water pump was finally installed in the area. The technology will be able to help the farmers to access an efficient water system in the next 25 years.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER. Representatives from OREE teach local farmers on how to operate and maintain the newly-installed solar-powered water pump.
“We are happy that you are happy. It’s very timely to turn-over this to you now during Independence Day. This solar water pump will be very helpful to you as our partner-farmers,” said Cherrie Atilano, AGREA’s Founding Farmer and CEO, during the turn-over ceremony.
“We can’t control El Niño or climate change, but we can control what technologies we can use, and what steps we can do,” Atilano added.
AGREA’s Director for Agricultural Abundance, Jonathan Quinto, also shared, “Water is life: the human body is composed of 60% of water, all living things need water. This solar water pump will now give you efficient access to water for your farms.”
AGREA's partner for this development initiative is One Renewable Energy (OREE). The company designs, integrates, installs, markets, and retails solar photovoltaic products and services, for residential, agricultural, business, industrial and communal applications. Moreover, OREE shares the same values like AGREA in encouraging growth of communities.
The installation of the solar water pump is the first step in the implementation of this initiative. The holistic initiative includes production of organic vegetables, poultry and livestock, establishment of a fishpond, and developing the area as a farm hopping site in the future. All of these activities aim to diversify the economic base of the farmers through agripreneurship, agritechnology, and farm tourism.
The Agripreneurship aspect is diversifying the income of farmers through the establishment of fishponds, as well as organic vegetable, poultry and livestock production. The fishpond will also serve as a water reservoir for the farms. The Farm tourism aspect is developing the area as a farm hopping site, where farmers can also showcase their farming techniques and produce. This is an added income for the farmers. The agritechnology aspect is installing the solar pump, which is an innovative and timely way to help the farmers improve their farm productivity in the long run.
NEW HEIGHTS. This initiative is a holistic approach to enable farmers cope with the changing climate through agritechnology, agripreneurship, and farm tourism.
The Kulilis Farm cluster is AGREA’s pilot area for its Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative.The initiative is a holistic approach to enable farmers cope with the changing climate through agri-technology (solar water pump installation), agripreneurship (organic vegetable production and fish pond), and farm tourism (farm hopping site). The initiative also aims to empower farmers to be climate-smart.
Interested to take part of AGREA’s Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative?AGREA is currently looking for partners and donors who can help in replicating this life-changing initiative to all of AGREA’s 5 cluster farms in Marinduque. Connect with AGREA and be part of the initiative through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature Photo: ALL SMILES with the newly-installed solar water pump: AGREA-partner spices and vegetable farmers together with the AGREA Team.