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Korean gov’t monitors progress of ODA-Funded Smart Greenhouse Project in the Philippines

Posted by: RAFIS DA6 | Posted at: December 4, 2023

The Korean Embassy in the Philippines’ First Secretary, Lee Jeoung Bin, recently conducted a visit to the Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC) in Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City. The purpose of the visit was to oversee the advancements made in the Official Development Assistance (ODA)-backed Korea Agency of Education, Promotion, and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (EPIS) Smart Greenhouse and Capacity Building Project.

The initiative, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of the Republic of Korea (MAFRA), is fully managed by EPIS and implemented by Hankyong National University. The project aims to incorporate advanced technology and capacity-building initiatives to enhance sustainable practices in food, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in the Philippines.

First Secretary Lee emphasized her visit’s purpose, stating that she aimed to gain a comprehensive understanding of all Korean government projects and to grasp the ongoing developments at the project site. The EPIS Smart Greenhouse, a Korean-styled climate-proof and mechanized facility, has the potential to address climate change concerns in the Philippines by offering innovative solutions in agriculture.

Located at WESVIARC, DA Western Visayas, the 3,000 sq.m. project area consists of ten greenhouses, six dedicated to mushroom cultivation and four to tomatoes and paprika. The initiative showcases Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and organic crop production technologies, contributing to the nation’s food safety goals.

The project, launched in March 2022 and scheduled until December 2023, serves as a testament to the enduring friendship between the Philippines and the Korean government. With the ability to produce off-season crops nearly year-round, the Smart Greenhouse project is seen as a self-sufficiency measure for the Philippines.

Future plans for the project include research initiatives, the sale of fully colonized mushroom fruiting bags, processing Shitake, adopting the pick-and-pay concept, displaying about-to-be-harvested Shitake fruiting bags in malls, exploring other high-value commodities, and securing funds for solar energy for the mushroom greenhouse.

The monitoring of the Korean embassy was attended by DA-WV officials, including DA-WV Regional Executive Director Dennis Arpia, OIC-Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Zarlina Cuello, and Smart Greenhouse Project In-Charge Felicitas Neturada, along with project personnel. This collaborative effort signifies a crucial step towards fostering sustainable agricultural practices and knowledge exchange between Korea and the Philippines. # # #Texts and Photos by: Myleen S. Subang/DA-RAFIS 6

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