Philippines, Israel boost deal on farm tech
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Israel have forged an agreement to advance agricultural cooperation through the introduction of new farming technologies in the country.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol recently met with Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz to ink the Implementing Agreement on Agricultural Cooperation.

The agreement is the final output of a series of negotiations between Israel and Philippines which started during the visit of President Duterte to Israel last year.

“The banner program under the agreement is the transfer of technology, funding and establishment of solar-powered irrigation systems all over the country funded by a long-term loan of P44 billion being offered by the Israeli government,” Piñol said.

The IA also aims to promote and support several agricultural developments engaging the Israeli technologies and expertise  in various areas like modern dairy farms, establishment of irrigation system, and other areas of agricultural cooperation that may be mutually agreed upon in writing.

“We have an economic agreement with the Philippines since 1994, and we would like to explore how we can help more to your development,” Harpaz said.

“The agreement will pave the way for the advancement of Philippine agriculture,” Piñol added.

Further, the project will involve the establishment of 6,200 units of computerized SPIS intended to irrigate 500,000 hectares of rice farms and other high-value agricultural products over the next three years.

The project will, likewise, include the introduction of the fertigation technology where the irrigation systems will allow the application of fertilizers and other farm inputs which would be mixed with irrigation water.

All the SPIS units will be interconnected with a computer program which would allow the DA Central Office to monitor the performance of each system all over the country.

The Israeli government is currently completing the installation of two prototypes of the SPIS, one for a small farm set up of up to five hectares and the other for a big farm set up of up to 100 hectares.

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