Philippines: South Korea funds “smart” agri projects in Iloilo and Bukidnon

pexels kaboompics com 6465Filipino farmers will start adopting “smart farming technologies” shared by South Korea, aimed at enabling them to produce quality vegetables sustainably throughout the year, according to a news release from the Philippines Department of Agriculture

This will be achieved as soon as the Department of Agriculture (DA) launches two smart greenhouse projects in Iloilo and Bukidnon, financed by the Republic of Korea’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), worth US$2.7mn.

“On behalf of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Filipino people, we sincerely thank the Republic of Korea for generously extending a grant through its Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA),” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar during the project launch held virtually on 1 December 2020.

MAFRA will finance the grant through the Korea Agency of Education, Promotion and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (EPIS) until 2024.

It will showcase modern sustainable vegetable technologies and thus encourage farmers in Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao to produce and earn more, Secretary Dar said.

“This innovative ODA project will establish 11 smart greenhouses at the DA’s Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in Bukidnon, providing advanced and adaptive technological training for the propagation of strawberries, potatoes, and cherry tomatoes,” the DA chief said.

“For Western Visayas — particularly at the DA’s Integrated Agricultural Research Center or WESVIARC in Iloilo City — an additional 10 smart greenhouses will be put up and train farmers on modern production of mushrooms and cherry tomatoes,” he added.

As part of the project, Korea’s MAFRA will also send Korean experts and farm consultants to train Filipino farmers, researchers and supervisors in Regions 6 and 10.

Furthermore, the joint project involves enhancing vegetable value-adding, branding and distribution systems and the exchange of research materials and other technical information.

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