THE Philippine Agriculture department plans to negotiate with China for the country’s solar powered irrigation system.

The agency has formed a team that will handle the proposed solar-powered irrigation system, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel V. de Mesa told a news briefing last week.

“We are drafting a possible engagement with China. Hopefully, by next year we can submit a feasibility study to the National Economic and Development Authority.”

Mr. De Mesa said that the proposal came after the Agriculture department got requests for a possible engagement with China to help boost farmers’ productivity. “As of now, the discussion is ongoing and we are not seeing any roadblocks.”

He said that the Agriculture department also seeks to revive a proposal by Israel to help the Philippines promote solar-powered irrigation after it was terminated in the absence of a government-to-government deal.

Mr. De Mesa said that the Israel Embassy was still trying to iron out terms with the Philippine Finance department, which serves as the Philippine negotiator.

Earlier this month, Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban said the Philippines and Israel were discussing a potential agricultural collaboration.

Israel is willing to provide technical assistance to Filipino farmers and fisherfolk particularly in the field of solar farms, hydroponics, drip irrigation and dairy farming, the Agriculture department said. — Ashley Erika O Jose