Israeli Embassy pushes farming-tech linkages

Israeli Embassy officials visited the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) to broach areas of possible collaboration.

Deputy Chief of Mission Nir Balzam, who headed the embassy delegation that paid a visit to SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio, has apprised the center of an internship program of Israel for agriculture students.

Balzam said the embassy is thinking of schemes on how to promote the learnings and experiences of returning Filipino interns.

He said he believes that agricultural interns are the best bridges to transfer agricultural technologies and innovations for adoption.

"We're going to do a pitching event to present and expose them to networking opportunities. They will experiment on Israeli technologies, but they must adopt the mindset of an Israel farmer," Balzam added.

Assistant Professor Glenn Baticados, SEARCA's Emerging Innovation for Growth Department program head, said SEARCA is working on carbon wise rice farming in close coordination with Newfields Consulting Ltd. (NCL).

NCL is a consulting firm specializing in crop production and crop improvement systems to develop new approaches in farming management and rice-based farming system technologies.

Israeli expert Moshe Broner noted that for this kind of project to succeed, farmers should understand the whole environmental system.

Meanwhile, Gregorio said joint research undertakings, student exchanges and capacity-building are possible areas of collaboration that SEARCA and the Israeli Embassy have identified.

Also with the Israeli delegation was Dee Urtua, Israeli Embassy development cooperation officer, joined by Dr. Gregorio together with Prof. Baticados; Dr. Gerlie Tatlonghari, program head, Research and Thought Leadership Department; Dr. Nova Ramos, head, Training for Development Unit; Sharon Malaiba, head, Partnerships Unit; and Sonny Pasiona, PU senior associate, Communications.