William Dar

Cold storage solar-powered facility to be put up in Benguet

September 8, 2021 Cory Martinez 345 views

A COLD storage solar-powered facility will soon be constructed in Benguet to improve post-harvest handling, storage and delivery of the farmers’ produce.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that the facility is part of the proposed Safe Vegetable Production with Marketing Technology Improvement project to be implemented in partnership with the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC).

The initiative aimed to capacitate farmers to improve production through the Safe Vegetable from Rich Soil (SAVERS) technology, which enriches the soil by using organic matter such as “mokusaku” (wood vinegar).

Dar disclosed that the cold storage solar-powered facility will be constructed in Buguias, Benguet.

Aside from the said facility, the JAEC’s proposal also include the purchase of refrigerated cooling trucks, to improve post-harvest handling, storage, and delivery of Filipino farmers’ produce.

The Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will fund the proposed P82-million project, which is currently under the review of the National Economic and Development Authority. It will also go through the Department of Finance and the Department of Foreign Affairs, to be approved by the Office of the President.

Once approved, a Memorandum of Agreement will be drafted and signed between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and JAEC.

JAEC Senior Local Coordinator Toshiharo Sato, on the other hand, conveyed his wishes to have the project implemented at the soonest possible time, as “many Filipino farmers are waiting for the project.”

Dar, meanwhile, expressed optimism that the proposal will be approved before the end of the Duterte administration. He called for the creation of a steering committee to help speed up the approval process.

He also instructed JAEC representatives to review its procurement process and to prepare the project design for immediate implementation once the project is approved.