Dar: Rice, corn, and co­conut are Philip­pines’ poverty crops

Agriculture - - Contents -

IF YOU WERE a farmer—and as most farm­ers are faced with a gaunt­let of daunt­ing chal­lenges—would you en­cour­age your chil­dren to fol­low your lead?

Mean­ing, to in­herit your be­ing a poor, un­la­mented farmer? Em­brac­ing the siz­zling hot sun, lan­guish­ing in back-break­ing work, smelling like ma­nure, be­ing cov­ered in mud from the pad­dies.

What if you are told, which you prob­a­bly knew al­ready, that your crops, mainly the top three such as rice, corn, and co­conut, are the Philip­pines’ “poverty crops”? Would you still in­sist even after know­ing that plant­ing rice, corn, and co­conut are the surest tick­ets for you and most farm­ers like you and their fam­i­lies to re­main mired in poverty? Which sim­ply means a hard life: hand-to-mouth ex­is­tence, no ameni­ties, no va­ca­tion, no time for leisure, no money for med­i­cal need, ed­u­ca­tion, etc. brought on by poverty?

No less than Dr. Wil­liam D. Dar, a highly-re­spected voice in agri­cul­ture in the Philip­pines and abroad, who iden­ti­fied rice, corn, and co­conut crops as the ones that keep farm­ers in poverty. He made this state­ment dur­ing an Agri-In­no­va­tion Fo­rum or­ga­nized re­cently at Dusit Thani Ho­tel in Makati City by the Is­rael Cham­ber of Com­merce in the Philip­pines (ICCP).

The ICCP, headed by Ita­mar Gero, pres­i­dent, wanted to high­light the part­ner­ship be­tween Is­rael and the Philip­pines, specif­i­cally on agri­cul­ture with a bat­tery of Filipino and Is­raeli ex­perts on hand to dis­cuss the vi­tal role of tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion in agri­cul­ture. He de­scribed the ICCP as “a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion whose mis­sion is to en­cour­age busi­ness-to­busi­ness net­work­ing within the Philip­pines and

bi­lat­eral trade be­tween the Philip­pines and Is­rael.”

“So, how do we that? We have events like this. We have ser­vices for busi­ness match­ing,” he added, in­di­cat­ing that it’s a per­son to per­son or com­pany to com­pany mee­tups ei­ther in Is­rael or in the Philip­pines.

Gero also men­tioned Mashav, the schol­ar­ship pro­gram with

Is­rael Cham­ber of Com­merce in the Philip­pines (ICCP) pres­i­dent Ita­mar Gero opens the AgriIn­no­va­tion Fo­rum in Makati City.

Is­raeli and Filipino agri­cul­ture ex­perts at the ICCP Agri-In­no­va­tion Fo­rum as they dis­cuss how Filipinos can use Is­rael’s agri­cul­ture tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions. ( ICCP pho­tos)

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