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Taraka, Lanao del Sur - This poor town beside the vast Lake Lanao will soon build six solar-powered irrigation projects for its rice farmers and a huge potable water system for its residents.

The projects will be funded with a P218-M development loan granted by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) under the MinDA Water Supply Program of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

Part of the loan will be used to buy infrastructure equipment to build road networks in the town.

Taraka, which has been selected as the model town for rural development by MinDA, is one of the oldest towns of Lanao del Sur with a very high poverty level.

Its residents depend on the Taraka River for their household water needs while its ricefields estimated at 2,000 hectares could harvest once a year because of the absence of an irrigation system.

During the launching of the MinDAWater Program on Dec. 6 last year, Taraka Mayor Nashida Gandamra-Sumagayan sought MinDA’s help in availing of the loan program.

MinDAWater aims to assist local government units in Mindanao with sources of water for irrigation and household use through a self-reliance program.

MinDA will assist Taraka in establishing a model farm where farmers could learn new technology like goat raising, chicken and egg production and duck raising.

Taraka will also be aided by MinDA in establishing and organizing its Economic Enterprise Office which will operate and manage the Solar Irrigation and Potable Water Systems.

The loan agreement was signed in the presence of DBP, MinDA and local officials in simple ceremonies in Taraka June 30.

(Story taken from MinDA Chairman Secretary Emmanuel Pinol's Facebook page)

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