By Ali G. Macabalang
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) wants to sponsor a short-course for governors and mayors in the south on the essence and mechanics of implementing combined technologies on irrigation and fertilization called “fertigation” befitting elevated lands for planting of upland rice to ensure their own food security.
The short court will be done online and cover orientation on the modern Solar-Powered Irrigation Technology and the “Fertigation” System, a fertilization method which mixes fertilizer with irrigation water, MinDA Chairman Manny Piñol said in Facebook post Thursday.
“I believe that this Short-Course is critical in opening the minds of local executives to the importance of managing and conserving run-off water during the rainy season through the establishment of catchment basins, small impounding dikes and dams,” Secretary Piñol said.
Sec. Piñol tackled some highlights of the “fertigation” system at the latest leg of his revived weekly (Mondays) radio slot over the Catholic-run dxND station here, alongside technical people from his agency and Dr. Sailila Abdula of the PhilRice.
“Fertigation” is a modern system effectively carried out in Israel for years in achieving high crop yields from barren lands, it was learned.
In his post, Piñol said the MinDA “will formally ask the Israel Government through its Embassy in Manila for support for its Water Supply Conservation and Management Program by conducting an on-line course for Mindanao Governors, Mayors and other local Government Officials.”
He posted the text of his proposed letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs for transmittal to the Israeli Embassy in Manila, notably Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, Rafael Harpaz, viz:
“Dear Amb Harpaz,
One of the major programs of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in Mindanao is the Mindanao Water Supply Program which seeks to enhance awareness on the importance of water for agriculture and human consumption.
In pursuit of this advocacy, MinDA is engaging Local Government Units by introducing the concept of Water Management and Conservation, which involves the establishment of small dams and water catchments, and the non-conventional systems of irrigation like the Solar-Powered irrigation System and others.
Knowing of the advancements of Israel in these fields, MinDA would like to request for technical support from the Israeli Agriculture Agency, Mashav, through you for the conduct of a Short Course on Water Management and Conservation, Solar Powered Irrigation and Fertigation, for local chief executives of Mindanao.
The Short-Course could be conducted virtually via ZOOM or Google Meet and the participants would include Governors, Mayors and Village Chiefs, along with the heads of their planning and agriculture office.
I believe the Short Course would broaden the understanding of our local officials on the importance of Water Conservation and Irrigation for Agriculture and human health and well-being.
With the allocation by the national government of bigger development funds for local government units, I believe that these programs could be very well implemented by the LGUs with your government’s technical support.
I hope this request would merit a positive response from your end.
Thank you very much.
Sec. Emmanuel F. Piñol, PhD
Mindanao Development Authority”