Israel helps N. Ecija town back on feet after typhoons | Inquirer News
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Israel helps N. Ecija town back on feet after typhoons

/ 12:59 AM December 10, 2011

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ—Residents of Licab, Nueva Ecija, can now expect a steady supply of “pinakbet” (Ilocano vegetable dish) and salad vegetables as a modern seedling nursery, courtesy of the Israeli government, has been put up in their town.

Licab (pop: 27,000) is one of the towns in the catch basin of the province. In the recent flooding caused by Typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel,” the town, which has about 5,000 hectares of rice lands, suffered big losses in its palay and vegetable production.It was the devastation caused by the two typhoons in Licab that prompted Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-on and Raniv Revach, the deputy chief of mission, to help local farmers.

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Dr. Eugene Baltazar, coordinator of the Philippine-Israeli Center for Agricultural Training (Picat) here, said Bar-on and Revach were in town after the typhoons and asked local officials how they could help farmers whose crops were wiped out by the floods.

Mayor Wilfredo Domingo provided the area for the 70 square meter greenhouse and the other needed space for the nursery that will grow seedlings of amplaya, eggplant, tomatoes, squash, cucumber and lettuce.

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Domingo said that through the donation, he hoped Licab could become a leading vegetable supplier in the province.

The greenhouse is covered with a fine mesh net and treated plastic roofing film. It has a shade net which can be rolled down during the warm part of the day to keep the temperature inside from rising.

It has a mist irrigation system, water tank, permanent seedling tray benches, seedling trays and potting media.

Baltazar said the facility can produce at least 20,000 seedlings per batch. Assorted vegetable seeds were also donated by the Israeli officials during the facility’s opening recently.

Since 2006, the Israeli government, through Mashav (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation), has been working with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in establishing agricultural enterprises in pilot areas in Central Luzon.

Baltazar said the partnership has led to the establishment of Picat, which coordinates activities carried out under a bilateral agreement between the Philippine and Israeli governments.

Several DAR employees, farmers and academicians were given training in the country and in Israel through the partnership, she said. Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon

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TAGS: Agriculture, floodings, Foreign aid, Israel, News, Nueva Ecija, Regions
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