“In 10 years, [Central Luzon will be the] major source of food not only for Metro Manila but for the rest of the world,” Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar said during the ’10 Magsasaka, 10 Ektarya tungo sa masaganang ani at mataas na kita’ farm visit and project concept presentation of high-value crop diversification and modernization program for clustered small rice farmers in Dinalupihan last Friday, February 19.
Bataan Governor Abet Garcia and Dinalupihan Mayor Gila Garcia prepares said event to be replicated through the 1Bataan Agriculture Innovation and Technology Corp. (1Bataan AITC) to a minimum of 100 hectares of clusters of small rice farmers within Bataan for the next dry season from October 2021 to March 2022.
Aside from modernizing agriculture, the 1Bataan AITC provides access to small farmer for financing from crop selection to marketing their harvests and promoting agribusiness to young Bataeños.
“Our vision to be a model agropolis in Central Luzon also aims to counter the global trend of farmers shrinking in number and their children seeking other means of livelihood,” Mayor Gila stated in the video presented during said event.
Agrilever Israel COO Aaron Samuel said that the Philippines has the resources – fertile soil, a lot of water, and people who are willing to learn and progress; during his discussion of the support provided by the 1Bataan AITC.
“Dito sa Bataan, tumaya na sila. Iyan ang pinagkaiba dito. When the leadership put their neck out there, mas may tyansa na magsa succeed tayo,” Sec. Dar said in response to the project presentation of Mayor Gila and Mr. Aaron Samuel.
1Bataan AITC is a project made possible through a joint venture agreement among the Provincial Government of Bataan, Municipality of Dinalupihan, and Agrilever Israel under the Public-Private Partnership signed in December 2019 to introduce modern technology and precision farming in producing high value crops in the Province.
The ten pilot farms in Dinalupihan, more or less 1-hectare each, with installed drip irrigation is almost in time for the yield of their crops like eggplant, chili, watermelon, squash, and tomato.