By Maya M. Padillo
DAVAO CITY — Rivulis Irrigation, an Israeli company specializing in micro-irrigation solutions, is eyeing fruit and vegetable farms in the Davao Region, starting with banana plantations.
“It is solid for us to have the banana plantations because we are already active in banana plantations and we think our experience and our product range can fit, especially for vegetables and pineapple, of course banana and corn as well,” Ilan Tamir, Rivulis Irrigation business development manager, told BusinessWorld in an interview on the sidelines of the Davao Agri Trade Expo 2018 (DATE 2018) held Sept. 20-22.
He said the company’s technology, which covers the whole irrigation network from reservoir to sprinklers, can increase crop yields by at least 10%, minimize fertilizer input, and reduce manpower requirements.
“We are saving a lot of money (on) manpower, and we are protecting the environment when you are providing precise amounts of water into the roots and nothing to the land. because the water should serve the plant and not the land. You will be able to dramatically increase the yield,” said Mr. Tamir, whose company joined the annual DATE for the first time this year.
Mr. Tamir said irrigation’s effects on crop yield will also raise incomes and reduce costs in the form of reduced water and fertilizer use.
Rivulis Irrigation was part of the DATE 2018 line-up on agricultural technology, which was one of the event’s main topics of discussion.
“We all know last year quality of our fruits declined and quality and quantity suffered because the year prior there was a drought, and we all know that the lack of adequate irrigation will affect the fruiting of many of our crops,” said DATE 2018 chair John B. Tria, and vice president for agriculture of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
Aquaponics was also in the spotlight for both backyard operations and commercial aquaculture applications.
Aquaponics combines raising fish in tanks with soil-less plant culture, also known as hydroponics. It can be set up in a residential setting or a village for family or small community consumption. On a bigger scale, the system can be applied to a fish farm venture.
“This is controlled growing, which can help alleviate the effects of climate change. So we are hoping to introduce new technologies and get many of our agribusiness (stakeholders) and entrepreneurs interested in non-traditional growing methods to address the climate change challenges,” Mr. Tria said.