Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss 

MANILA – The Philippines and Israel are partnering to further boost the country's dairy sector.

In a signing ceremony on March 2, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar and Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss signed a joint declaration that would jumpstart technical and economic partnerships between Filipino stakeholders and Israeli agri-food industry players.

“We aim to introduce smart and precision agriculture while using Israeli technology adjusted to local conditions to address the local challenges. Signing the joint declaration is a strong signal that MASHAV, Israel’s agency for development cooperation, will be happy to support the Philippines through technical assistance and capacity-building programs, especially in the dairy industry," Fluss said.

In the proposed 2020-2025 Dairy Road Map, the government seeks to increase the country's dairy input to provide milk for Filipino children and address malnutrition and poverty.

“Israel is a model to us. The Philippine government is eager to learn from Israel’s best dairy practices, we want to know more about the technologies. We have also watched with great interest the progress of the joint-dairy projects between Israel and Vietnam, and we wish to learn as much in the Philippines," Dar said.

"I trust the joint declaration is only the first step to continuing mutual relationship and assistance,” he added.

The signing was followed by a virtual event, which featured best practices from Israel's dairy industry and leading technologies to increase farm productivity.

At the webinar, Dairy Fresh Asia’s chief dairy expert and co-founder Gonen Harel said his company plans to build a demo farm that can help change the dairy industry and its scale in the Philippines by training the local workforce and blending it with Israeli technologies that have proven its success in Vietnam.

Dr. William Medrano, DA Undersecretary for Livestock, for his part, acknowledged the need to attract more Israeli companies and utilize their technologies for the Philippine milk industry.

Ariane Blancia, commercial officer and sector lead for Agrotechnologies, said that about 1.5 billion liters of cow milk were produced in Israel last 2020 alone.

“There are many reasons why Israeli Holstein cow is a world leader in milk yields, but the real answer lies actually in the combination of the unique method of production and quotas, heat stress management, breeding among others that are used in Israel to manage and improve the dairy herd,” Blancia said.

Yoray Ofek, president of the Israel Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines as well as Israeli companies with leading dairy technologies in herd management, breeding and artificial insemination, milk equipment, and complementary technology also presented during the event. (PNA)