11 smart greenhouses up in DA research center in WV

A total of 11 units of smart greenhouses in Barangay Hamungaya in Jaro District here will provide an all-year-round supply of high-value crops to ease the fear of food shortage in this time of the pandemic.

The smart greenhouses are expected to be completed at the Department of Agriculture -Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (DA-WESVIARC) during the first quarter of 2022.

The information technology-based or smart greenhouses are funded by the Korean government through the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), agriculture regional executive director Remelyn Recoter said in an interview.

The project costs PHP5.5 million with each unit priced at PHP500,000, she said.

“The technology is not the same with the hydroponics. It is more high-tech,” she added.

Recoter said the facility needs no manual operation as it is computerized.

The computer determines the temperature and nutritional needs of the plants to be grown in it.

A greenhouse is a structure with walls and a roof made chiefly of transparent material, such as glass, where plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown.

The smart greenhouses will prioritize the growing of sweet pepper, tomatoes, and mushroom, she added.

KOICA will also start a similar project that will be implemented in Aklan, Antique, Negros Occidental, and other urban centers next year to be managed by farmers’ associations.

Recoter said the projects are all grants that entail big funding to cover the training of farmers and consultants.

Had there been no health pandemic, she said, the farmers would probably be sent to Korea for training.

Meanwhile, under the One DA Reform Agenda, six greenhouse projects, with funding of PHP1 million each, have been turned over to their recipients last month.

These greenhouses use hydroponics technology to provide sustainable, accessible, and affordable locally-grown food in the communities and reduce the effects of the pandemic, especially in the urban areas.

The projects were turned over to the provincial governments of Capiz, Antique, and Guimaras; the city governments of Iloilo and Bacolod; and the Aklan State University.

“The projects were funded under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) in relation to food security. They can grow leafy vegetables in the hydroponics,” she said. (PNA)