Israel is keen to partner with the Philippines in boosting more profitable agriculture in the country through capacity-building efforts and the introduction of Israeli technology.
In a media roundtable on March 10, Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said the embassy is open to facilitating partnerships between Israeli and Filipino stakeholders not only to introduce their innovation but also to share best practices that would be relevant to the local agriculture setting.
“The Israeli government is willing and is interested to partner with the Philippines. Whilst we have very good relations historically, we’re looking forward to working towards the future and to the better future of the agriculture sector of the Philippines,” Fluss said.
Coming from an arid or semi-arid zone, Fluss said Israel had to develop solutions over the years, solutions he thinks would be relevant to the Philippines if applied in a proper way or adjusted to the country’s conditions.
“We will try to partner wherever we see that we have the potential to contribute and to help so you need the right conditions in order to be effective. When we find a good partner who is willing to invest, which is open to change, and which is ready for that then we will be happy to come in and work with them,” he said.
“Currently, we have identified Tarlac and CLSU (Central Luzon State University),” he added.
The roundtable coincides with the visit of Israeli experts, Nina Lehmann and Moshe Broner, who were in the Philippines from March 6 to 10 to hold consultations with Filipino farmers in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.
Apart from farms, they also visited the CLSU and Tarlac Agricultural University, where some alumni will be launching agricultural projects using grants from MASHAV, Israel’s agency for international development cooperation.
The embassy said the visit was also important for Israel to calibrate the stakeholders’ programs.
“As a result of this visit, we are going to change them quite dramatically because you have to find the right entry point, you have to make sure you are effective, you have the right partners, you have the right commitments, and the right approach,” Fluss said.
Prior to the pandemic, Israel had been providing opportunities to young farmers by sending them to Israel to train and study.
Meanwhile, Lehmann said she saw a bright future for the local agriculture industry as some of the farmers she met were relatively young and sees agriculture as a business.
“I think I saw the future of the Philipines because one of the global problems is that farmers are becoming old. Agriculture needs young people not just to go on growing food but also adopt innovations and what I have seen here is that some rather young people see agriculture as an (enterprise),” she told reporters.
Source: Philippines News Agency