Agriculture Secretary William Dar welcomed the newly-appointed Director of the Korea Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA) Center in the Philippines, Dr. Kyu Seong Lee, to a courtesy meeting recently.

“The Department of Agriculture, especially the Bureau of Plant Industry – Los Baños, would like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to the KOPIA Center – the Philippines for your strong partnership and commitment to the implementation of various Technical Cooperation Projects toward food security and increased productivity and income of Filipino farmers,” Dar said.

KOPIA was established through the Rural Development Administration (RDA), which is the biggest agricultural research and development organization in Korea.

The program aims to overcome the low productivity and insufficient income of local farmers in partner countries by providing customized agri-technology developed jointly by RDA experts and those in partner countries. KOPIA has established centers in 20 countries including the Philippines.

Since 2011, DA and KOPIA collaborated on projects to increase research and development on rice and other crops, train and educate researchers, extension officers, and farmers, dispatch Korean experts and scientists to the host institution, and exchange research and materials and technical information.

At present, KOPIA and DA-BPI Los Baños are working on two major projects namely:

1) Development of Pilot Village Project through the Establishment of Protective Cultivation and Postharvest Management of Lowland Vegetables in the Philippines and

2) Year-round Production and Technology Demonstration of Garlic Bulb of Bulbils to Increase Farmer’s Productivity: Development of Mass Production at Adaptive Areas to Bulbil Production.

“We are anticipating the fruits of the greenhouse established in Quezon and Laguna.”

Under the first initiative, DA-BPI Los Baños, in collaboration with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), will take the lead in the implementation of the $1.2-million project, which seeks to increase the yield and income of vegetable farmers in the three pilot provinces – Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija; Lucban, Quezon; and Siniloan, Laguna.

KOPIA will partner with more than 350 farmers from the three pilot villages and establish 10 greenhouses per village.

The three-year project will include the innovative production and postharvest management of lowland vegetables and other developed vegetable cultivation technologies, the use of bio-control agents for pest control, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.

“We are anticipating the fruits of the greenhouse established in Quezon and Laguna. We are optimistic that this will give a significant impact on the vegetable production in the identified communities and eventually in the region,” the agriculture chief said.

Through the project, KOPIA will partner with more than 350 farmers from the three pilot villages and establish 10 greenhouses per village.

Under the second initiative, KOPIA and DA-BPI aim to increase the utilization of healthy planting materials using bulbils and bulbs in garlic production for identified farmer-cooperators in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Regions 4A, and 5.

The two agencies will also conduct technology demonstrations, farmers’ field day, and distribute Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials to showcase the garlic production technologies for enhancement of adoption.

During the meeting, Dar also expressed the intention to continue further agricultural and trade cooperation with the Korean government. He said he hopes to open more market access in Korea for Filipino farmers.

“Through your leadership, we are confident that we will have more collaborative projects that will help us attain our goal of increasing agricultural output and productivity and raise living standards in our rural communities,” Dar concluded.



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