The Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured that the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians will have minimal effect on local agriculture production in the country.
“The Israel government has been a long-time partner of the DA in various initiatives particularly in water management and fertilization, and so we hope for the immediate resolve of the conflict in the Middle East,” DA Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel de Mesa said.
Fertigation, an Israeli-technology which combines the efficient distribution of plant nutrients through drip irrigation, has been adapted in various rice areas in the Philippines.
According to the DA official, fertigation has been gaining popularity among Filipino farmers as it enables them to apply the precise amount of nutrients in their crops while conserving water.
In addition, the Philippines and Israel continues to strengthen collaboration on various initiatives relative to training, internship, professional exchange, as well as monitoring and evaluation, to improve agricultural productivity.
De Mesa, who is the current Spokesperson of DA, stressed that the ongoing war will have very little impact on food production in the Philippines.
“Aside from innovative farm and water systems, we have longstanding trade partnerships with Israel,” he said.
According to De Mesa, Israel has been buying desiccated coconut, pineapple juice and concentrates, and other mixtures from Filipino producers.
Last year, total exports of Israel for various Philippine products reached 3,441,855 kilograms. This year, a total of 3,366,963 kilograms of various agricultural commodities have been bought by Israel from January to June.
ASec. De Mesa further explained that part of the trading agreement between the Philippines and Israel is the importation of different processed products, including orange and grape juice, as well as other fructose.
Aside from food preparations, the Philippines imported $3.28 million worth of fertilizer from Israel in 2022. From January to October this year, a total of 4,555 metric tons of muriate of potash have been imported based on data from the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority. ### (Adora D. Rodriguez, DA-AFID)