The municipality of Dinalupihan’s vision to be a model agropolis in Central Luzon is now slowly being realized as the 10 pilot farms in different villages produced positive results.
This was revealed by Municipal Mayor Maria Angela Garcia during the pilot farms tour with the local media, She discussed what they are currently implementing to high-value crops diversification and modernization program for clustered small rice farmers thru the 1Bataan Agricultural Innovation and Technology Center (1Bataan AITC), a public-private partnership between the provincial government of Bataan and Agrilever Israel..
“This project aims a fruitful harvest, generate higher income and improve lives of farmers as Dinalupihan aspires to be a model agropolis not only in the province but in Central Luzon as well,” Mayor Garcia reported as she also mentioned the visit of Agriculture Secretary William Dar to the pilot farms of 1Bataan AITC last week.
Planted crops in the 10 pilot farms include watermelon, chili, tomato, squash and eggplant. They are expected to harvest by the end of February with a target yield of 40 tons.
Garcia hopes that there will be convergence of different agencies to replicate this model within this next drying season in October with a minimum roll out in 100 hectares of clusters of small rice farmers in other municipalities of Bataan.
She added that the municipal government needs access to post-harvest facilities, shared common services, world-class trading post, farm-to-market roads, and drainage systems in order to complete the ecosystem of agriculture value chain.
For his part, Agrilever Israel Director Aaron Samuel presented improvements of the pilot farms under 1Bataan AITC using modern technologies like drip fertigation and weather station predicting possible rainfalls and how helpful it is to the farmers, the province, as well as the market.
“From 10 pilot farms in Dinalupihan, we plan to expand more by reaching 1,000 farms using modern technology. We start small but we dream big,” he shared.