Israeli–funded solar irrigation in Laguna nears completion

MANILA, Philippines — The Israeli government is set to complete two solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) in Laguna as part of efforts to help ensure sufficient rice supply in the Philippines.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the  LR Group of Israel subsidiary Innovative Agro Industry would soon  complete the replacement of the diesel engine-powered water pumps and another one using underground water from a deep well in Lumban in Laguna.

Apart from the two SPIS units, the Israeli government is offering a P44 billion long term loan to the Department of Agriculture to build an additional 6,200 units to serve an estimated 500,000 hectares nationwide.

The LR Group offered to establish two models of their solar irrigation technology, one is designed to replace the diesel engine-powered shallow tube wells where farmers spend about P15,000 per hectare per planting season just for the fuel,” Piñol said.

“The other would be a deep-well sourced solar powered irrigation designed to provide water in areas where there are no open sources for water,” he said.

Some of the components of the SPIS were designed and fabricated in Israel and shipped to the Philippiaes for installation under the supervision of Israeli engineers and experts.

The demonstration area in Laguna is targeted for completion within the month.  It will then be presented by the Israeli ambassador to President Duterte.

The technology introduced by the LR Group is seen to increase rice production by four million metric tons of paddy rice per annum.

Piñol has emphasized the need to irrigate more lands in the country to boost the production of rice and other high value crops.

“The inability of the country to cope with the rice needs of its consumers is mainly because of the fact that of the estimated 2.9 million hectares of rice farms, only about 1.2 million are effectively irrigated where farmers could plant twice a year,” he said.

The DA has already constructed around 200 SPIS units all over the country but it needs to irrigate 500,000 hectares by the end of Duterte’s term.

Innovative Agro Industry was among the Israeli agriculture firms that met with the DA to explore possible business opportunities for bilateral cooperation during the last forum hosted by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute and the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

The Philippines is  looking  at Israel for the development of new technologies for the agriculture sector.

DA, DILG to provide solar water systems for off-grid barangays

The Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior and Local Government will team up to provide water for irrigation as well as for drinking to far-flung barangays

WATER SOURCE. The Department of Agriculture seeks to provide water to far-flung barangays, with the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will be signing a memorandum of agreement to launch a solar-powered water supply program for off-grid barangays.

In a Facebook post, outgoing Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said this program will give water to rural areas for both irrigation and drinking purposes.

The DA and the DILG will target barangays which rely on open sources of water and lack enough power sources.

The joint program, which will be under the DA’s existing solar-powered irrigation system project, will start by August. (READ: Department of Agriculture eyes more solar irrigation facilities in Laguna, Rizal)

“The absence of water supply in the remote villages also affect the food production activities of the residents, especially those planting vegetables and other crops for their subsistence,” Piñol said.

The DILG will identify the barangays for the project, while the DA will build the system, which will source water from springs or deep wells.

The DA will also organize farmers to be more involved in vegetable farming and other agribusiness opportunities.

Earlier, the DA and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also met with Aboitiz Power Corporation to launch a floating solar farm in Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi. This will power an ice-making and cold storage facility.

Piñol said the farm will also serve as a fish convergence area for the community. The DA will provide a P20-billion fund for the floating solar farm prototype. 

PhilRice expands area for high-quality inbred seeds production

To increase the accessibility of high-quality seeds in Mindanao, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) establishing a 50ha seed production area, June 24.

 “Farmers’ competitiveness starts with high-quality inbred seeds. We have to double our efforts in producing high-quality seeds as demand for foundation, registered, and certified seeds will increase with the implementation of Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program (RCEP),” said Dr. Sailila E. Abdula, PhilRice acting executive director.

Holding the signed MOA are PhilRice Acting Executive Director Sailila E. Abdula (L) and USM President Francisco Gil N. Garcia (R).

Under RCEP, PhilRice will utilize P3B to produce and distribute high-quality inbred seeds to qualified farmers. The said program is on top of Department of Agriculture’s core project for farmers.

The upcoming PhilRice USM substation will be utilized mainly for seed production, rice technology demonstration, and experiments. USM, based in Kabacan, Cotabato, is one of the country’s four leading state universities with achieved excellence in agricultural education.

Cayetano C. Pomares, USM vice president for research, development, and extension, said they have observed the low adoption of certified inbred seeds in Southern Mindanao. With the collaboration, he hopes to see farmers growing high-quality seeds in their rice fields.

Meanwhile, Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac, Ilocos Norte renewed its partnership with PhilRice for 25 years. The MOA, which was signed June 26, allows PhilRice to develop 10ha for seed production, technology demonstration, and construction and renovation of state-of-the-art facilities.

“With this effort, we hope to contribute in helping our rice farmers cushion the effect of Rice Trade Liberalization Law,” Dr. Shirley C. Agrupis, MMSU president, said.

PhilRice Batac station is currently housed at MMSU compound, which focuses on dry land agriculture.

llth General Assembly of Loamc-PH

Wishing for the gift of bilocation. Am in Bislig City at the 11th General Assembly of LOAMC. But this afternoon in QC at NCPAG, the Galing Pook Foundation is also having its annual general assembly.

Both organizations are driven by the belief that participatory good local governance is one of the most effective strategies to bring about the changes we want in our country, not in one grand instant, but in many different places, at different times. Through initiatives like Galing Pook and LOAMC, they can inspire one another, learn from one another, and come together to create an impact that is greater than a mere aggregation of their individual efforts. In a mantra from our activist past, “quantitative changes can transform to qualitative changes.”

11 General Assembly of Loamc Phils

I am in Bislig City (the Organic Capital of Asia) representing Regeneration International 🌏 at the 11th General Assembly of the LOAMC Phils. to sign the “Regeneration Philippines” Memorandum of Understanding 🇵🇭. 👏👏👏to LOAMC (a group of +200 municipalities, cities and provinces) for its pledge to address climate change through soil health ☀️🌧🌿🌤🌾🌾🌾🌾🌏🙏

Changing the mindset of Future Agri Investors today is securing the life of future generations.

04062019-0804. Changing the mindset of Future Agri Investors today is securing the life of future generations.Every time the production and processing chain is linked, the agriculture development is unfolding towards rural development.

But the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations also pointed out on its 2050 Forecasting in Food and Agriculture that the “Business as Usual” mode of interventions in conventional agriculture is not securing the welfare of future generations. This is the challenge on the architect of our PH AgriDevt Path for the Future. Changing the mindset of Present Investors today in Agri Devt is securing the life of future generations.

But Investing of agricultural development is not equal to investing of sustainable agricultural development. The interplay of key societal stakeholders is essential in our modern society to produce modern farmers/family farms, modern processors, traders, consumers, modern development thinkers and modern professors/teachers among others. And there are best examples of True Sustainable Agriculture Development in Family Farms, municipal/city/state-wide in the PH and the world.