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Japanese agri tech to boost vegetable industry in Phl

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Japan’s continuous effort to support the Philippines goes beyond investment, maritime security, education, people to people-to-people, among others.


Just recently, a technical cooperation project between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) is gaining momentum in introducing several Japanese technologies and business models in Benguet, Quezon, and Metro Manila to address challenges along the vegetable value chain.

Price fluctuation, high distribution costs, postharvest losses, and high poverty rates for farmers are among the long-standing challenges faced by the agriculture sector in the country. These challenges pose an even bigger impact on the vegetable industry due to the seasonality and high perishability of vegetables. 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. 

Consequently, JICA, DA, and concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) are working together for the “Project for Market-Driven Enhancement of Vegetable Value Chain in the Philippines (MV2C-TCP)” which aims to develop inclusive Food Value Chain (FVC) models that will address issues in different stages of the value chain. 

A year since the start of the implementation of the MV2C-TCP, the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) of the project recently convened to discuss the further progress and ways forward of the project.

“JICA continues to highlight agriculture development as a backbone of Philippine economy in terms of its prospective impact to economic growth, poverty alleviation, job creation, promotion of healthy lives of Filipino people, among others. Also, in these years, JICA has been advocating and promoting the “Market-Oriented Approach” to the agriculture development even in other countries. As such, MV2C-TCP remains to be a relevant and important part of JICA’s assistance portfolio in the Philippines,” said OSHIMA Jiro, Senior Representative of JICA Philippines Office

The project is in line with the three-year plan announced by DA Secretary Tiu Laurel earlier this year, where he emphasized his goal to modernize Philippine agriculture to spread benefits across the entire value chain and to make farming viable for investors.

The MV2C-TCP is collaborating with various stakeholders from all stages of the vegetable value chain in rolling out six (6) pilot projects in the target sites. These pilot projects include improving production techniques through the introduction of high-quality seedlings and optimization of greenhouse cultivation, introduction of humidified refrigeration and pre-cooling system, use of plastic crates, promotion of linkages with modern distribution channels, increasing value addition by merchandising approach, and promotion of vegetable consumption.

Recently, the project also held stakeholder forums that were attended by various vegetable value chain players in Benguet and Quezon. The forum provided an avenue to share information about pilot projects of MV2C and to conduct business matching among stakeholders.

This year, the project envisions to expand the pilot projects in additional municipalities in Benguet and Quezon. Moving forward, the project will develop and disseminate broadly inclusive FVC models comprised of various technologies that were verified through the pilot projects.

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