DAVAO CITY – The municipality of Taraka in Lanao del Sur will be the first local government unit (LGU) in Mindanao that will avail of the Solar-Powered Irrigation and Drinking Water Program being spearheaded by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
In a statement, MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol bared that this would be a follow through to the letter sent by Taraka Mayor Nashiba Sumagayan, expressing interest to avail of the program after attending the launching of their Water Supply Program last year.
“Taraka LGU will be the first to avail of the program in the (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)”, Piñol said
The secretary said he expected the significant contribution of the program to the productivity of Taraka as an agricultural hub.
The Taraka water project will benefit 200 households and will cost P20 million, with 25 years loan guarantee.
In coordination with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), MinDA will be assisting the LGU to avail of loans for the water supply project to bring safe potable water to remote villages and improve productivity through irrigation systems.
He said the said town will have its first technical assessment for the Solar-Powered Irrigation and Drinking Water Program on January 14.
MinDA and Huangzhou Yatai has organized a technical team to conduct initial site validation and assessment for the water project to determine river discharge requirement of 700 liters per hour.
The team will be assessing the Taraka river, one of the major tributaries of Lake Lanao and a 30-square meter area would also be needed for the facility.
“We will also conduct livelihood orientation program and allow the people choose from the options,” Piñol said.
He said the people should choose their desired support programs rather than the government choosing one for them.
“These livelihood programs are simple and easy to establish,” he adds. The livelihood programs Piñol pointed out includes cattle fattening, goat raising, poultry and egg production, vegetable gardening, sorghum farming.
“We have to increase our agricultural produce in order to take advantage of the halal market in the BIMP-EAGA and the trillion-worth global halal market,” Piñol said.
In a meeting with the Chief Minister of Sabah last year, he agreed to engage the Mindanao farmers to supply commodities for the State.
“Sabah needs supply of Halal beef, goat meat, Kampung chicken (free-range native chicken), fruits like mango and banana and vegetables because of its growing tourism industry which draws four million visitors every year,” he added.