The City of Puerto Princesa will study the farming system of Israel to replicate its best agricultural practices and technologies in an attempt to boost food production in the locality.
Atty. Arnel Pedrosa, the City Administrator, said that the City Government intends to send employees in Israel to learn from their technology and implement it in the city.
“May balak si Mayor na magpadala ng empleyado sa City Hall doon sa Israel to learn from their technology. The way na nagtatanim sila sa disyerto. Yung agricultural farming sa isang lugar na wala o limitado ang tubig,” he said.
He said that Mayor Bayron and the Israeli ambassador already discussed this concern during the recent visit of Iraeli Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz in Puerto Princesa.
Present during the visit were city officials and the head of both agriculture and environment offices, City Agriculturist Melissa Macasaet and City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Atty. Carlo B. Gomez respectively.
“Kahanga-hanga din sila kaya gustong matutunan ng City Government kung ano ang technology na ginagamit nila,” he said.
Puerto Princesa City has a total 19,602.07 hectares of agricultural land. Its major products include cashew, mango, banana, coconut and vegetables. There are a total of 52,710 farmers/farmer households in the city per records of the City Agriculture Office.
Enera Tuibeo, assistant head of the agriculture office, said that inadequate irrigation is a major problem in the city’s agriculture.
She explained that the peculiar geography of Puerto Princesa and of Palawan characterized by high-rising mountains serving as backbone to a long narrow island limits the potential for developing large scale irrigation system. Only 1/3 of the total ricefield in the city is irrigated during the dry season.
“Yan talaga ang problem dahil sa geographic location ng mga farm napakahirap dahil mga mountains. Minsan may irrigation, at itong percent ng irrigated land ay may problema sa El Niño at tag-init,” she said.
Tuibeo further said that another challenge affecting the city’s agriculture is its underutilized farmlands. Underutilization of farmlands can be traced to absentee owners who either abandon their farmland or left them under the care of people who have no stake or interest in making the lands productive.
“Ina-abandon ng mga owners sa kanilang caretakers kaya hindi naging productive ang mga agricultural areas natin,” she said.