Friday, July 27, 2018

DA Approves Biotech Center

Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija. The site of the Crop Biotech Facility

A biotech center will be constructed in Munoz, Nueva Ecija that will serve as the nexus for the implementation of technological innovations that will benefit the Philippine farming sector.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol has approved the construction of the facility that will cost Php302 million.

The facility shall include laboratories, a theater and a multi-purpose hall that can accommodate up to 800 people. The target completion of the facility is 2019.

Most of the funds will come from the P277 million assistance from the US government through the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act.  The balance will come from the Philippine Rice Research Institute.

Aside from equipment and facilities, training and support will be provided to Filipino researchers in the field of biotechnology.

The facility shall also host biotechnology programs on other priority crops such as corn, coconut, coffee, sugarcane, and banana.

According to the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research (Searca), the application of biotechnology has resulted in higher and better that led to increased revenues for farmers. Also, it resulted in crops that are much resilient o pests and climate change.

Funding Acquired for PH Greenhouses

A memorandum of agreement was recently signed between the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and South Korea via its  Korea Agency for Education, Promotion and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (EPIS).

The US$2.43 million grant will fund the development of greenhouses for high-value agricultural products. The greenhouses will enable farmers to control temperature, humidity and soil moisture for optimal growth.

This will enhance and increase the competitiveness of small to mid-size farmers via greenhouse technology.

“We have also committed that as soon as high-value vegetable farmers confirm the effectiveness of the smart greenhouses in increasing their productivity, we will propose the inclusion of the program for more greenhouses in the 2020 budget of the DA,”   Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol claimed.

The grant will aim to promote development and will help in raising additional revenues for farmers.

The pilot area shall be established in Benguet that will yield high-value vegetables.

Also, consultants and experts from South Korea will come to the country and Filipinos will train in Korea as part of the package. 


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