JICA, DA seeking to introduce Japanese tech to Philippine farms

THE Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said it has been working with the Agriculture department to introduce Japanese technology that will help vegetable farmers in the Philippines climb the value chain.

In a statement, JICA said the Project for Market-Driven Enhancement of Vegetable Value Chain in the Philippines (MV2C-TCP) involves beneficiaries in the capital region and nearby provinces to improve the vegetable value chain.

“JICA continues to highlight agriculture development as a backbone of Philippine economy in terms of its prospective impact on economic growth, poverty alleviation, job creation, and promotion of healthy living, among others,” Oshima Jiro, JICA Philippines senior representative, was quoted as saying in the statement.

JICA said it has been promoting a “market-oriented approach” to solving agricultural issues in various countries.

“As such, MV2C-TCP remains a relevant and important part of JICA’s assistance portfolio in the Philippines,” Mr. Oshima said.

MV2C-TCP seeks to address bottlenecks in the vegetable value chains of Metro Manila, Quezon and Benguet, JICA said.

The six pilot projects involve the introduction of high-quality seedlings, the supply of a humidified refrigeration and pre-cooling system, and the optimization of greenhouse cultivation.

These initiatives are expected to improve farmers’ production techniques, JICA said.

Other initiatives involve the introduction of plastic crates, liking up modern distribution channels, and the promotion of vegetable consumption.

JICA cited price volatility, high distribution costs, post-harvest losses, and poverty among farmers as recurring issues in Philippine agriculture.

“This underscores the urgent need for a more efficient and modernized vegetable value chain that can provide higher income for farmers, many of whom are still under the poverty line, and promote active participation of the private sector and job creation in this important sector,” JICA said. 

JICA and the Department of Agriculture (DA) formally began implementing MV2C-TCP last year, targeting municipalities in Benguet and Quezon.

“Moving forward, the project will develop and disseminate broadly inclusive food value chain models comprising various technologies that were verified through the pilot projects,” JICA said. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz