THE technical proficiencies of extension workers and vegetable farmers in Siniloan, Laguna will soon be improved with the implementation of a project that will promote greenhouses with drip irrigation systems, postharvest technologies, farm cultivators and good agricultural practices.
The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and the Korea Partnership for Innovation of Agriculture (KOPIA) Philippines Center, recently opened its “Pilot Village Project on Protective Cultivation and Postharvest Management of Vegetables” in Siniloan, Laguna.
DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, Republic of Korea Ambassador to the Philippines Sang-hwa Lee, DA-BPI Assistant Director Herminigilda Gabertan and KOPIA Philippines Center Director Kyu Seong Lee led the completion ceremony of the nine greenhouses and one postharvest building in Barangay Macatad.
Under the project, 100 farmers will increase the volume of their vegetable production by 200 percent and increase their income by 20%.
The infrastructure development is a component of the Pilot Village Project funded by KOPIA and implemented by the DA-BPI Los Baños National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center (LBNCRDPSC).
“I join the President in expressing the gratitude of the Filipino people to the men and women of the KOPIA Center for the generosity and goodwill with which they have shared their expertise, resources and time in the execution of this project,” Panganiban said.
He also said that the technologies promoted by DA-BPI and KOPIA through the “project promise outcomes that are both technically useful and economically rewarding.”
The project will also be implemented in Lucban, Quezon and Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija to help increase the production and income levels of Filipino farmers.
“By extension, what we learn from this endeavor establishes a mechanism whereby other local governments and farmer organizations can utilize the same technologies based on their terms. It is thus highly gratifying that so many–including national and local government executives and farmer leaders–are now ready to join us in expanding these benefits nationwide,” Panganiban added.
As the project proponent and implementer, the LBNCRDPSC under DA-BPI spearheaded the capacity building of farmers and extension workers and promoted the concepts of bayanihan (Filipino concept of community cooperation) and Saemul Undong (Korean for self-help and community development).
It also provided vegetable production technology packages and technical assistance to empower the farmers in the pilot villages.
“KOPIA plays an important role as it works side-by-side with the local community. Its pilot villages are designed to improve production through modern farming technology as well as knowledge transfer and cooperation on agricultural innovation and food security. Therefore, this success story in Siniloan can serve as a model for replication,” Ambassador Lee said.
KOPIA is an innovative Official Development Assistance (ODA) program of the Rural Development Administration (RDA), which is Korea’s largest agricultural research and development organization.
Officials and representatives from partner state colleges and universities, local government units, farmers’ cooperatives and associations and other partners in the private sector also participated in the completion ceremony.
With the initial success of the ongoing project as a model farm for Filipino rural communities, the KOPIA and DA-BPI have agreed to develop a project proposal for funding by the South Korean government to scale up the project to 10 pilot villages in the areas covered by the five national centers of the DA-BPI.