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Gil Levy cultivated an interest for agriculture and plants since his teenager days in Kibbutz. He had chosen this green path, of his own will. He learned to prepared fields for seedling, inculcated on correct planting methods, surveyed water source and its distribution, irrigation application and control on various crops. Since Kibbutz promotes community living, he and other young adults were also responsible for harvesting of cotton, sunflower, tomatoes, wheat, sorgom and other agriculture produces. Due to his keen learning and display of leadership quality, Plassim Ltd. – one of Europe biggest producers of PVC, PE pipes and accessories had engaged him to supervise the installation of 1000 hectares of drip irrigation in Italy. The “Gabelieri” project was an astounding success with the correct water application and installation method. Soon, many agriculture projects in Italy and other EU countries followed the footstep of “Gabelieri”.
1986, Gil Levy graduated with a degree in Soil and Water Engineering. The then young, double-major engineer had chosen to work in Europe, joining Plassim Ltd. (www.plassim.co.il) as an Irrigation Designer, horning his skills with various sizeable agriculture projects. In later years, he was promoted to head the sales department, spearheaded many successful “Turn-key Projects” for large farms from France to Italy to Germany. Gil has built himself a consistently reliable, selfless individual willingly transfer technical knowledge and knowhow to farmers and growers. With this incubated passion in agriculture and inquisitive nature to constantly acquiring new techniques in farming for better yields per hectare, Gil Levy continues to excel in agriculture fields and impart his knowledge to those who wish to listen. This selfless attitude of Gil has won him many friends and allies in Europe.
1993, with these early accomplishments, Gil was handpicked by Del Monte, a multi-national corporation as the Design Specialist for a plot of 2500 hectares of banana plantation, based in Cameroon, West Africa. Gil recalled, although it was one of the most challenging projects he has had, he happily acknowledged his six good and memorable years with Del Monte Fresh Produce. Within this period, Gil was tasked to transform new banana plantations, with the help of the hardworking local African, from barren bush lands to full fledge and now professionally run, world-class banana farms. As a Soil Engineer by profession, Gil’s opinion is much sought-after to pick suitable lands for new farms. Heavier responsibilities come with the preparation of soil, construction of drainage canals, roads, airstrips, packing stations, cableway, design and installation of irrigation (and fertigation) systems. Doubling the role as Water Engineer, Gil conducts feasibility study to locate water source, access water gravity and build turbines at various suitable locations to minimize electricity consumption.
1998, heavier responsibilities beckoned. Lapanday Foods Corporation, Philippines, a leading banana and pineapple producer contracted Gil Levy as Senior Group Manager for Irrigation and Engineering. From the African Continent to the first Asian Country Gil set foot in, Gil again demonstrated his remarkable adaptable skills and understanding of the needs to work with the locals. He blended in well and has quickly made Philippines his adopted home. With a group of bright and eager to learn young Engineers, Farm Technicians and Agronomists from the best universities of Philippines, together they have expanded hundreds of hectare of wild, untapped virgin lands to productive farms with first-rate Drip and Sprinklers Irrigation, harvesting and packing facilities. Blessed with bountiful sunshine in the South of Philippines, besides the thriving banana plantation, high quality pineapples are planted with precision, from the selection of seeds to soil preparation. These export quality sweet pineapples are handpicked, cut and packed; fresh whole fruits are exported weekly in thousands of tons to Japan, Korea and the Middle East.
2006, Gil’s vast knowledge and experienced in agricultural businesses attracted the attention of Netafim Ltd (www.netafim.co.il) - No. 1 irrigation company in the world. He has since taken office as the Managing Director from 2006 to early 2009, for Netafim’s operations for the Territory of Philippines. As a pioneer in championing new technology for farming in East Asia, Gil Levy and companies have introduced World Class Green Houses in Bulacan, Illocos and Tagaytay Highlands in Luzon. Hundreds of Family Drip Systems were installed for vegetable farmers at Pampanga and Nueva Ecija. At Negros Island, he has successfully introduced SDI (Sub-surface Drip Irrigation) to sugarcane plantation. In the subsequent year, those plots of land implemented with SDI, produced the highest yield ever - 138 tons of sugarcane per hectare. This makes headline news and many sugarcane growers are now interested to follow suit with similar SDI system to be introduced to their farms. With high quality equipment and tools, reliability and low maintenance cost of the SDI, professional coaching and consultancy, banana companies are quick to adapt and acquired similar techniques in the Island of Mindanao, Philippines. The results so far have been very encouraging.
Being a resident in the Philippines for over 10 years now, Gil Levy now works as a Private Consultant for Agricultural Businesses. Over the years, Gil is seen as a mentor for young and bubbling Agricultural Engineers and often doubled up as a Trainer for mega corporations. He has since identified a team of new talent; coached and groomed them to now, many hold senior managerial positions in established and leading plantations in the Philippines. “This is one little contribution I have for my adopted homeland and I am happy to be able to share my knowledge.” Gil said.
Updated as at 25.01.2010
Updated as at 25.01.2010