Israel extends helping hand to Filipino farmers
(The Philippine Star) - March 8, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Israeli Embassy in Manila is urging Filipino farmers and animal raisers to explore the use of Israeli agricultural technologies that promise to be highly adaptable to the Philippine setting.

Israeli Embassy officials have been drumming up interest for various farm technologies that Israeil has to offer through seminars in Davao City and Manila to promote the 19th International Agricultural Exhibition and Conference to be held in Tel Aviv from April 28 to April 30.

This year’s Agritech Israel Exhibition would focus on post-harvest and food loss technologies, as food loss is a major problem in developing countries. The exhibition is held every three years.

Adam Michael Levene, Israel Embassy deputy chief of mission, said Filipino farmers could benefit a lot from Israeli farm technologies – particularly in irrigation and horticulture – as these could  easily be adapted to suit local needs.

He said the Israeli farm technology industry is encouraged by robust economic growth in the Philippines, accompanied by the government’s ambition to attain self-sufficiency in various agricultural commodities.

“We went through processes from being a very modest country to being a more wealthy country now. These processes we went through are very relevant for the Philippines, which is going through rapid development and it wants to bring its agriculture to the next stage,” said Levene. “And we believe we have a lot to contribute to that.”

Levene noted that corporate fruit growers Del Monte and Dole have been using Israeli irrigation technology in their growing areas in the Philippines.

Several farms in Laguna, he said have been using Israeli drip irrigation technology.

Agriculture attache Eitan Neubauer noted that Israel has been a strong partner of the Philippines in the exchange of knowledge on agricultural technology.

There are currently 543 Filipino students from 26 state colleges and universities nationwide who are on an 11-month agro-studies program in Israel.

Through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it continues to sponsor agro-studies programs.

Israel Agritech would feature around 300 exhibitors in the sectors of irrigation and water management, seeds and nurseries, plant protection, livestock and veterinary equipment, organic agriculture, post-harvest, and others.

“Israeli (agriculture technology) companies have a long experience of working around the world and analyzing the needs of different countries and knowing how to adapt the most efficient technologies for a particular area,” said Neubauer.

In his presentation, Neubauer said that natural restrictions in natural resources such as arable land, irrigation water and suitable climate for agriculture, has led Israel to develop its expertise in irrigation, post-harvest equipment, greenhouses, fertilizers and dairy, poultry and aquaculture.

Israel is also challenged by tough competition for export of agricultural products from Egypt and other neighboring nations. 

Israel has so far cornered 30 percent of the global market in irrigation technologies.

Sixty percent of Israel’s land area is desert, making it a challenge to sustain water supply for irrigation.

Most of the country’s wastewater is, therefore, treated to meet a suitable effluent standard for agricultural use.

As of 1955, a farmer in Israel is able to feed 15 persons, while as of 2013, through the use of modern technologies, the produce of one farmer can feed 130 persons.

Israel is a major exporter of vegetables, fruit, flowers, beef, cereals and sugar and is self-sufficient in the supply of dairy, eggs and chicken.


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