The Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau has recently visited Iloilo to share the best practices of his country in attaining inclusive agricultural development and as one of the world-exporters of safe, fresh and quality produce.
During a dinner reception held on August 22, Matityau said that the government has to capacitate human resource as it is regarded as a key for development in many countries.
He said that the Israeli government is offering a special on-the-job-training program for 540 Filipinos every year to study agriculture.
“We aim that every Filipino graduate of our program becomes quality managers and leaders in agriculture combining also the skills they learned here in the Philippines,” Matityau remarked.
Furthermore, he mentioned that farmers, the research and development, and extension are to be given prime importance to make agriculture a more sustainable sector. He added that the government should work closely with the farmers, businessmen, and members of the academe to create a desirable ecosystem of agriculture.
As ambassador to the Philippines since 2014, Matityau said that farming here in the Philippines is advantageous with the topography and the presence of technology, methodology and management. “I believe in agro-business In Israel, we grow anything that you can imagine. If you want to become high-end producers, let the countries decide for you. In the case of Philippines, you have potential markets in countries of Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan which are all hungry for fresh produce,” he explained.
“If you want to grow better products, you go into intensive farming. That is the key to the market. If you want a lower price, venture into extensive farming,” he urged.
He also shared that in Israel, the government has a mandatory insurance system for farmers to provide them with compensation to their crop loss when natural calamities strike.
“Agriculture is a high risk sector, thus farmers should have access to finance because farming is a lucrative business. Most governments are actually generous in providing production subsidies to farmers,” he added.
The meeting was also attended by Department of Agriculture 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter, Regional Technical Directors Manuel O. Olanday and Dr. Peter S. Sobrevega, banner program coordinators of DA, National Economic Development Authority Regional Director Ro-ann Bacal, Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council chairman Ricardo Provido Jr., Central Philippine University president Dr. Teodoro Robles, officers and members of the Iloilo Business Club, Inc. and Panay Organic Producers Association.
During the day, Matityau had visited organic farms here in Iloilo—the Palmares Farms in Passi City, Ephratha Farms in Badiangan, and Orchard Valley Farms in Pavia.#(Text by SMHToreno/ Photos by AJMSubade)