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