Israeli farm tech raises Bataan farmers’ yield

Published November 18, 2021, 4:41 PM

by Philippine News Agency

DINALUPIHAN, Bataan — More farmers from this province are convinced of the benefits of applying an Israeli farm technology more than traditional farming, the 1Bataan Agri-Inno-Tech Corporation (AITC) said on Wednesday, November 17.

Architect Abigail Cruz Catapang, AITC administrator, said in an interview the pilot run in Dinalupihan town of the joint venture that started in 2020 has been successful.

The AITC is a public-private partnership between the provincial government of Bataan and Agrilever Israel.

ISRAELI FARM TECH. A farm in Bataan where Israeli farm technology is used for higher yield. According to 1Bataan Agri-Inno-Tech Corporation (AITC), the foreign technology is far more beneficial for farmers than traditional method. (Photo courtesy of 1Bataan Agri-Inno-Tech Corporation/Manila Bulletin)

From 10 hectares at the beginning of the project, the area was expanded to 55 hectares with 35 in Dinalupihan, 16 in Balanga City and four in Morong town.

Catapang said the yield in tomato, chili, eggplant, watermelon and squash almost tripled and okra, corn and some crop varieties from Israel are now being introduced.

Under traditional farming, the average tomato harvest per hectare is 20 tons but when drip fertigation was applied, the yield went up to 60 tons, she noted.

Fertigation is an Israeli method in which fertilizers are incorporated in irrigation water through a drip system.

“In terms of productivity, napatunayan natin na mas effective ang Israeli technology (we were able to prove that the Israeli technology is more effective),” Catapang said.

She said the AITC project was launched in Dinalupihan because of the vision of Mayor Maria Angela Garcia to turn the only landlocked town in the province into a model “agropolis” in Central Luzon.

Under the partnership, the provincial government has a 49-percent share while Agrilever has 51 percent.

Farmers provide labor in more or less one hectare of land each as their contribution.

“Ang isa sa goal ng provincial government ay knowledge transfer na kung ano expertise ng Israel tungkol sa agronomies, sa agriculture ay makuha ng mga local farmers para maiba ang kultura ng farming sa Pilipinas (One of the goals of the provincial government is knowledge transfer on whatever the expertise of Israel regarding agronomies in agriculture will be learned by the local farmers so that the culture of farming in the Philippines could be changed),” Catapang said.

“Ang traditional farming sa Pilipinas halimbawa ay mangungutang ang magsasaka para sa binhi, abono at chemical na after ilang months haharvest sila. Magbabayad ng utang pero after noon ay uutang ulit sila. Ito nagiging cycle at nagiging process ng farming dito (The traditional farming in the Philippines, for example, the farmers will get a loan for their seeds, fertilizers and chemicals and after several months, they will harvest. They will pay the loan but after that, they will borrow again. This is becoming a cycle and the process of farming here),” she noted.