ISRAELI agro-industrial firm LR Group is set to submit a P44 billion proposal to the Philippine government this month to fund the deployment of 6,200 Solar-Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS).
“Ilan Weiss, chairman of the Innovative Agro Industry Ltd., a subsidiary of the LR Group, said the construction of the SPIS will be funded by a long-term loan payable in 10 years to be guaranteed by the Philippine government,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“He said the formal offer, to be endorsed by the Israel Government through Ambassador Harpaz, will be submitted to the Department of Agriculture (DA) next week,” Mr. Piñol added.
Mr. Piñol said that according to LR Group, the Philippines could double farm production with the help of the solar-powered and “fertigation” technology, noting that the SPIS can cover about 500,000 hectares of rice and high value crops farms.
Fertigation refers to the injection of fertilizers into an irrigation system.
Among the crops being studies for SPS deployment are lowland rice, upland rice, sugarcane, corn, coffee, cacao, coconuts, and other fruit-bearing trees.
Mr. Piñol told reporters on Friday that he has brought up the proposal at a recent Cabinet meeting. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio