Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

DA-BPI, KOPIA Philippines Center launch Siniloan village project with infra completion

Author: DA-AFID | 7 September 2023

The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and the Korea Partnership for Innovation of Agriculture (KOPIA) Philippines Center formally opened its “Pilot Village Project on Protective Cultivation and Postharvest Management of Vegetables” in Siniloan, Laguna on September 5, 2023.

DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, Republic of Korea Ambassador to the Philippines Sang-hwa Lee, DA-BPI Assistant Director Herminigilda Gabertan, and KOPIA Philippines Center Director Kyu Seong Lee led the completion ceremony of the nine greenhouses and one postharvest building in Barangay Macatad.

The infrastructure development is a component of the Pilot Village Project funded by KOPIA and implemented by the DA-BPI Los Baños National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center (LBNCRDPSC).

“I join the President in expressing the gratitude of the Filipino people to the men and women of the KOPIA Center for the generosity and goodwill with which they have shared their expertise, resources, and time in the execution of this project,” Undersecretary Panganiban said.

He also said that the technologies promoted by DA-BPI and KOPIA through the “project promise outcomes that are both technically useful and economically rewarding.”

The project will benefit at least one hundred farmers in Siniloan through the provision and promotion of greenhouses with drip irrigation systems, postharvest technologies, farm cultivators, and good agricultural practices.

It will also be implemented in Lucban, Quezon and Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija to help raise the production and income levels of Filipino farmers.

It is expected to improve the technical proficiencies of extension workers and farmers in the partner communities, increase the volume of vegetable production by 200 percent in the pilot communities, and increase in the income of participating farmers by 20 percent.

“By extension, what we learn from this endeavor establishes a mechanism whereby other local governments and farmer organizations can utilize the same technologies based on their terms. It is thus highly gratifying that so many – including national and local government executives and farmer leaders – are now ready to join with us in expanding these benefits nationwide,” Undersecretary Panganiban said.

As the project proponent and implementor, the LBNCRDPSC under DA-BPI spearheaded the capacity building of farmers and extension workers and promoted the concepts of bayanihan (Filipino concept of community cooperation) and Saemul Undong (Korean for self-help and community development). It also provided vegetable production technology packages and technical assistance to empower the farmers in the pilot villages.

“KOPIA plays an important role as it works side by side with the local community. Its pilot villages are designed to improve the production through modern farming technology as well as knowledge transfer and cooperation on agricultural innovation and food security. Therefore, this success story in Siniloan can serve as a model for replication,” Ambassador Lee said.

KOPIA is an innovative Official Development Assistance (ODA) program of the Rural Development Administration (RDA), which is Korea’s largest agricultural research and development organization.

Officials and representatives from partner state colleges and universities, local government units, farmers’ cooperative and associations, and other partners in the private sector also participated in the completion ceremony.

With the initial success of the ongoing project as a model farm for Filipino rural communities, the KOPIA and DA-BPI have agreed to develop a project proposal for funding by the South Korean government to scale up the project to 10 pilot villages in the areas covered by the five National Centers of the DA-BPI. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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