Philippine agriculture is a crucial factor in the country’s struggling economy. Its major crops, including bananas, coconuts, rice, sugarcanes, and pineapples, are massed-produced for export. However, these agricultural products are getting less produced in the middle of the growing population. Israel offers its help to boost Philippine agriculture and support the country’s water management.
Enhancing Philippine Agriculture and Water Management
In 2021, the Philippines ranked as the seventh-largest market for agricultural exports in the US, and the leading market in Southeast Asia, earning $3.5 billion. However, the country still faces deficits with its other crops, leading to a high inflation rate for other crops and commodities.
The Israeli government extended its support to Philippine agriculture and water management. Currently, the country is withstanding the effects of El Niño, which may persist until early next year.
Last Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen discussed with PH President Marcos that Israel might collaborate regarding water management. An Israeli expert can come over to the Philippines and provide sound advice.
“I think that we can work together on the segment of agriculture. I just let you know that our land, 60 per cent of our land is desert. But although 60 per cent of our land is desert, we were able to provide all our water needs. And I think that we can work together, and let’s say that less import, more export for the Philippines,” Cohen said.
Marcos deems agricultural development as crucial for the country. He regards Israel and Singapore for their best practices that the Philippines can resemble.
Israeli as Top Agriculturist
Israel’s land and climate diversity enable the country to grow various crops, including corn, sorghum, and wheat. Farmers turn the desert areas into greenhouses to grow different agricultural crops. For over 50 years, the country has nearly tripled the areas used for cultivating and producing different crops 16 times. Almost a quarter of that production goes to export.
Cohen said that both countries could collaborate in the agriculture sector. Israel comprises 60% desert but was able to put it to good use for growing crops. At the same time, it provides all of the country’s water needs. Israel has advanced methods of reusing much of its water resources to deal with scarcity.
Additionally, the Israeli minister suggested the establishment of more direct flights between the two countries to push tourism ties. This will enable more Israeli businessmen to visit the Philippines and invest.
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