A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to meet an ex-pat from Israel, his name is Oded. Oded is a real nice guy and has been living in the Philippines for some time. He lives up in the Mountains in the Marilog District of Davao, which is close to the border between Davao City and Bukidnon Province.
Back in Israel, Oded was in the business of Irrigation. Much of Israel is a very dry place, but Oded knows the technology needed to keep crops growing and thriving. He had some things to show me that really let me know that he knows his business! You see, Oded has brought his expertise to the Philippines and is actually working with farmers all over the country to help bring technology to the Philippines allowing the country to obtain a better yield when it comes to agriculture.
At Oded’s farm in Marilog, he is mostly growing bananas, but he has greenhouses with other crops as well. He uses drip irrigation in order to get the very best results from only a small use of water. He was showing me some photos of a project that he is working on in Tagaytay. Up there, he is working with some people who have installed greenhouses and drip irrigation, and they are growing tomatoes. I’m not talking about the little tomatoes that you find along the roadside around the Philippines. These people are growing big beefsteak tomatoes like you would find in western countries! And, even in the photos, they looked delicious!
Oded was telling me how in the projects that he is working in they are growing a lot of vegetables that are rather new here – stuff that you would find in western countries, but never in the Philippines. He told me that as each new crop was introduced, he found that the items were widely accepted and even appreciated by Filipinos. He said that for these big red tomatoes (most Filipinos prefer their tomatoes still green), if Filipinos would see them on a TV show from the USA, or something similar, suddenly there would be surge in demand for them! People wanted to try them out, and make their diets a little more worldly. It makes sense. Think about food in the USA. We have Mexican, Italian, French – restaurants showcasing the food of all different regions and countries of the world. Why should Filipinos be any different?
This is something that is just opening up here, with foods of different parts of the world gaining acceptance and even the cravings of Filipino people. It’s a good thing for us ex-pats living here too, because we are starting to get a lot of foods that we’ve been craving for years! When I first moved here 7 years ago, it was hard to buy ingredients to make a nice green salad. Nowadays, it’s easy to get that here!
I want to thank Oded for taking the time to show me all of the interesting things that he had to share. It was an education for me!