CITY OF ILOILO – The Western Visayas Ministry of Agriculture has been awarded a PHP 200 million smart greenhouse and capacity building project to encourage farmers, entrepreneurs and investors to produce high-value vegetables.
The project established at the Western Visayas Agricultural Research Center in Barangay Buntatala, Jaro in that city is a grant from the Republic of Korea through the Education Promotion and Information Services (EPIS) of the Ministry of Education. of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) aimed at improving the competitiveness of the production of small and medium-sized farmers.
“Malaking tulong sa atin ang project (This project is a great help) so that we can have more production as far as vegetables and fruits are concerned using this facility,” said Secretary William Dar who led the inauguration of the project on Thursday.
Equipped with modern sensor and communication technologies, smart greenhouses automatically capture and deliver 24/7 information about the environment and crops.
By unlocking massive plant information, a smart greenhouse allows growers to minimize labor, improve resource and chemical use efficiency while maximizing yield rates.
The facility will allow growers to plant off-season crops leading to year-round production.
During a press conference, the secretary said that Western Visayas is one of the beneficiaries of the project which is also carried out in Tanay, Rizal; Baguio and Bukidnon.
“Strategic locations are targeted to showcase these new technologies. Greenhouse technology will lead to masaganang ani (more produce), mataas na kita (higher earnings),” he added.
Remelyn Recoter, Regional Executive Director of DA Western Visayas, said in a separate interview that the smart greenhouse comprises nine units with controlled environment, temperature and drip irrigation.
“It’s more about training activities. This is an opportunity to encourage individual farmers and other non-farmers but who are interested in investing,” she said, adding that the region is not yet sufficient in terms of high-value vegetables. added.
Besides, more smart greenhouses will be built in provinces by the end of the year, especially in tourist areas, she added.
The inauguration was also joined by Dr. Park Eui Jeong, the Associate Expert of the Performance Management Project of Hankyong University, the President of EPIS, Dr. Lee Jong Soon, and the Deputy Secretary at agriculture for strategic communications, Noel Reyes.
The Dar has also distributed some 64.58 million plant and vegetable seeds to target farmer associations, production support for sectors affected by Typhoon Odette and financial assistance to target universities for rapid assessment. of the Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES).
He also managed the turnover of a set of the Philippine Carabao Center’s Carabao-based Enterprise Development Project (CBED) to the Barotac Nuevo Development Cooperative, crop insurance claims of 21 farmers in the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), growing catfish to their recipients in Barangay Barasan Oeste, Sta. Raising barbaras and milkfish in Barangay San Carlos, Anilao of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), two farmer learning sites established in Buruanga, Aklan and Panit-an, Capiz by the Agricultural Training Institute ( ATI), and dairy cattle and dairy goats to their beneficiaries under the National Dairy Authority’s Central Iloilo Dairy Expansion Program. (NAP)