The Philippines are longtime collaborators of the Agrostudies project. Universities in the Philippines were the first to join the project in 2005 and since then hundreds of students from Universities across the country have participated in the Agrostudies project, spending 11 months in Israel studying advanced agriculture and technology.
One of these students is Michell Bautista who completed the program last year. During her time in Israel she learned different advanced techniques for growing tomatoes and peppers and working in greenhouses. After returning to the Philippines she graduated and received support from her University to create a demo-farm on which she is now passing on the knowledge she acquired to other students in her school.
Here is her story in her own words:
“I came from Tarlac College of Agriculture (TCA) in Tarlac, the Philippines. I was the only girl in our school who went to Israel to undergo agricultural training. I became the leader of the Tarlac College of Agriculture students in Israel.
I was assigned in the Agridera Seeds and Agriculture Ltd. and Rootility Ltd. and was able to learn how to grow and manage peppers and tomatoes in a greenhouse. Whilst I was in Israel, I already planned to share the ideas and knowledge I learned in school and on the host farm where I worked with my co-students in TCA. When I returned, Ester Mercado asked me for suggestions for a project for the TCA OJT students 2013-2014 group. I told her that I was willing to share what I learned as my way of giving back and thanking them for the opportunity to go to Israel. I asked her if the greenhouse at the school could be used as a demo-farm and my request was granted.
They let us to use the greenhouse in the school, but it needs improvement because it was destroyed in typhoon Yolanda. We have financial problem right now and are looking for support to help us fix our greenhouse. Right now, even though the greenhouse is not yet fixed, we continue to grow peppers and tomatoes under the supervision of ma’am Agnes Perey. Fortunately, the peppers and tomatoes we planted have flowered but they cannot grow well because of the condition of the greenhouse.”