Saturday Feb, 22 2020 08:32:31 AM

Basilan gov't setting up model greenhouse

Climate Change/Environment • 20:15 PM Fri Aug 30, 2019
John M. Unson
Typical examples of drip irrigation facilities pioneered by Israeli agricultural engineers. (Contributed photo)

BASILAN --- The provincial government here will put up an organic greenhouse show farm using a drip irrigation system patterned from an Israeli self-sustaining agriculture technology.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman said Friday they are to establish the greenhouse in Barangay Sumagdang in Isabela City.

Salliman said his emissary, Engr. Salonga Lasatan, initiated this week an initial coordination with the Netaphils, Inc. in Davao City, a conduit in the Philippines of the multinational Netafim Ltd. Israel that provides technical support for farm development programs on contract.

“The initial legwork went well. We are confident we can proceed with the project as planned,” Salliman said.

Basilan is touted as the new investment frontier in the Bangsamoro region owing to the fragile peace now spreading around the province that covers 11 towns and the cities of Isabela and Lamitan, its capital.

The island province was a former bastion of the Abu Sayyaf terror group that has a reputation for stoking hatred for non-Muslims and beheading captives if ransom demands are not met.

The provincial government of Basilan has lately been expanding its agricultural programs promoting diversified farming to cushion the adverse effects of the “cocolisap” infestation that ravaged local coconut farms and the plummeting price of rubber extracted from rubber trees in plantations in the island province.

Residents of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao first heard of the Israeli drip irrigation system in the 1990s, pioneered in the adjoining towns of Datu Paglas and Buluan in Maguindanao, both host to Cavendish banana farms operated by foreign capitalists and local partners.

The Israeli drip irrigation system uses pipes, connected to reservoirs and attached to pouts from where drips water to wet hedges of short term and high value crops.

Salliman said provincial planners are certain that diversification in agricultural ventures by landowners in Basilan can further boost the local economy.

He said Basilan province has potential sources of clean water that can be tapped for drip irrigation facilities.

The provincial government has earlier constructed three major irrigation projects near rice-producing areas in the province with the help of the National Irrigation Administration. 


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