Field Assessment of Problems Associated With Pump and Primemover Selection, Operation and Maintenance and After-Sales Services Availability in Region IV, Philippines
Arthur L. Fajardo1, Romulo E. Eusebio2, Manolo G. Villano3 and Wilfredo P. David4
The use of shallow tubewells and low-lift pumps for irrigation has become popular among farmers. Since the STWs are small-scale systems, they enjoy several advantages over large-scale irrigation systems. STWs require a relatively small investment cost and are therefore amenable to privatization. STWs have short gestation period and are sustainable in terms of operation and maintenance. Another advantage offered by the STW is the flexibility of the use of the primemovers. Since most of the pumps installed in the field are driven by small engines, these engines are also used for a variety of purpose such as in hand tractors, threshers, blowers, and even in generators.
A survey in Region IV was conducted in order to assess some of the problems associated with the selection, operation and maintenance of pumps and primemovers, as well as the availability of after-sales services in areas where STWs are utilized. The survey covered the provinces of Region IV from June 1999 to June 2000 include the province of Aurora, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Quezon, Rizal, and Romblon with a total of 353 sample respondents interviewed.
Based from survey results, average area irrigated by a STW / LLP was about 2.87 hectares. The average number of hours the pumpsets are operated was about 14.53 hours per day. Most of respondents (88.95%) have claimed that their engine throttle setting during operation ranges from 1/3 to ½. Based on the survey, 20.40% of the pumpsets have concrete pumphouses. Most of the pumpsets (53.54%) were brought home after each operation while the rest have temporary shelters in the field.
Most of the respondents were aware on the proper maintenance of the engine like oil change and air cleaner de-clogging since most of them were using other engines for farm operations and were briefed by agricultural technicians and engineers on proper operation and maintenance.
The unavailability of sufficient after-sales services has been one of the major problems faced by the STW recipients in the region. About twenty seven percent (27.20%) of the respondents claimed that parts and service for engines were not available in their area while 15.86% have claimed that parts and service for pumps were not available. Despite the problems with the preference of pumps and engines, most of the respondents interviewed (88.95%) were satisfied with the performance of their pumpsets.
1 Assistant Professor, Agricultural Machinery Division (AMD), Institute of Agricultural Engineering (IAE), College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (CEAT), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB); 2Engineer IV, Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC), CEAT, UPLB; 3Associate Professor, Land and Water Resources Division (LWRD), IAE, CEAT, UPLB; 4Retired Professor, LWRD, IAE, CEAT, UPLB.