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JICA, DA team-up boost agri sector

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Japanese non-profit group Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) trained 2,500 Filipino farmers in 14 provinces on safe plant and vegetable production technology in a move to boost the competitiveness of the country’s agriculture sector and address food security.

The training, a 3-year technical cooperation initiative that began in 2013, disseminated technology from Japan using organic inputs as substitute for inorganic fertilizers and pesticides.

“The growing population and the economic integration in ASEAN present opportunities for the Filipino farming sector.

How agriculture products are grown will have an impact on the ordinary Filipinos’ health and on the competitiveness of the local farmers in entering new markets,” said JICA Senior Representative Yuko Tanaka.

The Philippine population currently stands at 100 million, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) August 2015 data.

At the regional level, the ASEAN economic integration creates opportunities for farmers in the region to also supply new and larger markets and address changing food preferences for high value, organic food products.

“Our goal is to uplift the lives of the farmers by introducing them to technologies that will give themoptions for safe vegetable farming at the same time help improve their income”, said JAEC Executive Director Ryoji Sakamoto.