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JAPAN TO BUILD COLD-STORAGE FACILITY IN BENGUET

Agriculture Secretary William Dar and delegates from the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) met and discussed the status of the latter’s proposed Safe Vegetable Production with Marketing Technology Improvement project in the Philippines.

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).

The JAEC’s proposal also included the construction of a cold storage solar-powered facility in Buguias, Benguet, as well as the purchase of refrigerated cooling trucks, to improve post-harvest handling, storage, and delivery of Filipino farmers’ produce.

The proposed P82-million project will be funded by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 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.

“Many Filipino farmers are waiting for (the) project.”

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

Dar manifested his interest in the project, and stressed that he hopes for the proposal to be approved before the end of the Duterte administration.

“A steering committee should be created to help speed up the approval process.”

The agriculture chief called for the creation of a steering committee to help speed up the approval process.

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

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