IN AGRICULTURE, input is planting, output is the produce, and the latter always is affected by the former.
Envisioning a bounty and abundant agricultural production, the city government is up for adapting a new technology developed by Israel dubbed as Israeli Greenhouse Technology that will further weigh our position as the “food basket in the South”.
Landing in the news last August 2015, the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) and the City Government of Davao entered into an agreement for the utilization of the new technology presented by GurLavi, an Israel-based agriculture company.
“This developed innovative system like the Israeli agricultural greenhouse is designed for maximizing agricultural production with minimal expenses,” Eyal Ben Ari, ICCP president and GurLavi chair said adding that they are willing to contribute to the Philippine agriculture progress through the introduction of a greenhouse technology.
Manny Piñol, former North Cotabato governor and representative of Davao City Mayor, said that in a chamber meeting he presented to Israelis the great ironies of the Philippines.
“We are blessed with fertile soil, blessed with favorable climate for agriculture, blessed with water, and yet importing products like onions and garlic,” Pinol said.
Ari said that as the city government is determined to adapt the technology, it is planned to be constructed in Mintal or Calinan, this city and will initially be planted with cucumber.
He also said that the facility is a 272 square meter (sqm.) in area. The facility costs $70 per sqm.
“The site is still up for confirmation. Once realized, it will be the first in Mindanao. At present it is already applied in San Pablo City and Tagaytay,” Ari said.
The Israel Greenhouse Technology Greenhouse is a structure where plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers are grown attracting heat as the sun’s electro-magnetic radiation warms the plants, soil and other component within the greenhouse.
The advanced greenhouse construction developed by Israel includes curtains, skylights, and shade netting, which moves automatically in reaction to sunlight.
It has a salient features including: a big internal space with good air circulation and ventilation, able to withstands winds up to 150 kilometer per hour, indoor drip irrigation system, aluminet shade installed outside and inside greenhouse, optinet providing protection against pests and diseases, and regulates growth of seedlings GurLavi agronomist Beatriz Cortes in a separate interview said that the new technology and facility has an innovative system on ventilation, circulation, light, humidity and temperature which are essential in climate control for better production. The greenhouse structure has three different types, these are single (272 sq.m.), twin (544 sq.m.) and triple arch (816 sq.m.).
All types are seent to provide optimal growing conditions for plants. In Boosting Production The gross production of a greenhouse in Israel is six times more than the gross production of an open field in the Philippines.
In a comparative analysis conducted by GurLavi, data showed that only 4,000 kilograms per year can be produced by the Philippine traditional agriculture in every 1,000 hectares (has). While with the Israeli Greenhouse technology intervention it will reach up to 25,000 kilograms with the same land area of 1,000 has.
For decades, farmers are struggling with various internal and external factors making agricultural growth difficult – weather, humidity, droughts, natural disasters, disease and various lesions that might harm crops.
“Agricultural production is much destroyed due to “non-development,” decay, disease and other reasons. This initiative is to allow farmers to increase their production crops, economic gains, and to reduce current expenditures of agricultural growth in order to develop optimum results,” Ari said.