Senator Cynthia Villar acknowledged the initiatives of Bataan local leaders led by Dinalupihan Mayor Gila Garcia and Governor Abet Garcia for launching their pilot project “Sampung Magsasaka, Sampung Ektarya Tungo sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita.”
In a video message, Villar lauded the two local officials for turning Dinalupihan into a community focused on agriculture food production.
This project intends to benefit directly their farmers and indirectly the rest of the population of Bataan as well as to establish food security, Villar’s office said in a statement.
Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on agriculture and food, also expressed her appreciation to Agrilever Israel for sharing their technology to the province.
“We can adopt the best practices of others and we calibrate them for our own requirements or circumstances.,” Villar said in the statement.
The senator emphasized this was the winning strategy of many leaders and businesses, “so we can do the same in developing our own agriculture.”
“We all have the natural resources, we just have to utilize them to fulfill our people’s needs and aspirations,” she said in the statement.
Villar also took pride for partially influencing the Bataan mayor in coming up with this project, which was part of their study tour in Israel together with some governors and local government officials.
During the deliberation on the project in the Bataan Sangguniang Panlalawigan, lawyer Joey Angeles of PPP Office Capitol stressed the agri project was actually a product of the said Israel visit where they saw the successful agriculture in the Jewish country.
Gov. Garcia saw the promising agricultural program and wanted it for the entire Bataan.
Mayor Garcia said the vision to be a model agropolis in Central Luzon also aimed to counter the global trend of farmers shrinking in number and their children seeking other means of livelihood.
The project envisions to help small farmers to achieve high profit, attract the youth in agriculture, and allow the youth to lead in innovation and excellence, Villar’s office added in the statement.
It also wants to encourage job opportunities for professionals in the region, attract investors into the value chain, and stimulate cost-effective funding while reducing lenders’ risks.
The pilot project is under the 1Bataan Agriculture Innovation and Technology Center (AITC), a technological concept of agriculture.
The 1Bataan (AITC) was made possible through a joint venture agreement among the Provincial Government of Bataan, Municipality of Dinalupihan, and Agrilever Israel under the Public-Private Partnership signed in December 2019 to introduce modern technology and precision farming in producing high-value crops in the Province.
In line with the AITC, 10 one-hectare farms were established in the different barangays of Dinalupihan. These model farms demonstrate the proof of concept by using modern technology such as drip fertigation and precision agriculture in growing high-value vegetables during the dry season, and after rice in the wet season.