Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

Get smart, Korea’s modern farming tech levels up Phl food productivity

Author: DA Press Office | 31 March 2022

Changing weather patterns resulting in unusually warmer temperatures or heavy rainfalls have caused an imbalance in the production of agricultural commodities.

Through time, the threat of climate change has caused alarm to the food production sector, not only in the Philippines but throughout the world. And so, innovative and smart technologies are now being adapted to address these inevitable phenomena.

In Jaro, Iloilo, right in the middle of the Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC), are 10 greenhouses established to provide education and enhance capabilities of local farmers in the production of mushrooms, tomatoes and other high-value crops through the use of advanced technologies.

The smart greenhouses, constructed through the collaboration of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Korea Agency of Education, Promotion and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (EPIS), aim to provide innovative farm systems to improve and increase yield of Filipino farmers.

Aside from presenting climate change mitigation measures, the smart greenhouses adopt good agricultural practices that ensure food safety through the prevention of contamination that may cause food borne illnesses.

According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the technologies will greatly help in the national agenda of the Duterte administration toward “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita.”

“This showcase manifests that new technologies are crucial in feeding the next generation. Smart technology and precision farming upgrade our productivity levels benefiting farmers and food producers,” Dar said.

During the launch of the smart greenhouses on March 31, 2022, Secretary Dar thanked EPIS President Jong Soon Lee for collaborating with DA, and nurturing partnerships through bilateral cooperation that support and promote Philippine agriculture, and open up markets for locally-produced crops.

With the ongoing health and energy crises presenting possible danger to the agriculture and fishery sector, the secretary calls for unity and cooperation among all stakeholders.

Malaki ang hamon ng panahon dahil sa problema ng mundo. We have to bring hope and possible solutions so our country may survive. We have to have enough food, and I believe that this smart farming system is the best solution,” he said.

The DA chief added that the modern technology being shared by the South Korean government plays a crucial role in the “OneDA Reform Agenda,” which serves as the foundation for food productivity measures.

“Smart greenhouses are forward-looking, and will surely elevate the food production here in our country,” he said.

Dar and Lee agree to continue cooperation to elevate agricultural development and jointly undertake food productivity initiatives using innovative strategies and smart technologies.

During a discussion, both parties consented to enhance technical collaboration toward a food-secure and resilient Philippines.

To provide an informed structure for decision-making and direction, the Philippine agri chief sought the assistance of EPIS for agriculture digitalization, particularly in the establishment and implementation of a centralized system for DA.

According to Dar, the institution of the Agriculture-based Central Data Ecosystem (AbCDE) is a very important innovation that will enhance the formulation of policy and strategies for agriculture and fisheries.

President Lee, in his message, confirmed Korea’s continuous support to Philippine agriculture and expressed intention of expanding the smart technology projects to other areas in the country.

Aside from Iloilo, 11 more smart greenhouses will be opened in Bukidnon this week to provide appropriate technology for nutrient-supplying and soil-based production, for strawberries, potato seedlings, and tomatoes.

The smart greenhouse systems in Iloilo and Bukidnon are being undertaken through a grant from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – Korea. Another set of greenhouses was established in Baguio and Rizal under a Korea International Cooperation Agency grant. ### (Adora Rodriguez, DA-AFID)

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