October 20, 2022
Japanese officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Headquarters visited the Philippines as part of a study mission to discuss the project framework for the cooperation of JICA with the Department of Agriculture (DA) on enhancing the Philippine vegetable value chain. They met with officials from the DA and visited DA regional offices in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Region 4A, and provincial and municipal offices in Quezon and Benguet.
The Planning Phase of the "Project for Market-Driven Enhancement of Vegetable Value Chain in the Philippines" (MV2C project), which started in early 2022, covered an in-depth analysis of the vegetable value chain in the country. Based on the results of the Planning Phase, JICA, DA, and relevant stakeholders came up with a framework for this value chain project for implementation until year 2028.
"JICA is proud of our long-standing partnership with the Philippines, including the DA office, as well as the numerous impact of our agricultural cooperation that helps increase the income of Filipino farmers. The outcome of the vegetable value chain project is crucial in helping the Philippines build a resilient, sustainable agriculture sector," said OHSHIMA Ayumu, Deputy Director General of the Economic Development Department of JICA Headquarters.
With the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change on the agricultural sector, JICA notes that the vegetable value chain project will contribute to the realization of DA's plans for the vegetable industry, encourage public-private partnership and investments in the agriculture sector, and establish an inclusive value chain model for the benefit of farmers and communities.
The JICA-DA cooperation also identified pilot projects that will comprise the inclusive value chain model which include the improvement of cultivation techniques and business/organizational capacity of farmer groups, cold chain distribution system, packaging, diversification of sales channels, agro-processing, and vegetable consumption.
Said cooperation, according to JICA, is an example of collaboration and sharing of Japan's expertise towards creating a systematic approach in the entire Philippine vegetable value chain and to support local farmers.
JICA and the DA have been working together to advance the agriculture sector for many decades now. JICA helped build farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, and post-harvest facilities benefiting farmers and agrarian reform communities. Through the Japanese private sector, Filipino farmers also learn of new technology applications to support marketing of local produce.
Now more than ever, the latest JICA-DA cooperation is seen to connect various stakeholders and find solutions to pressing issues that surround the vegetable value chain.
During the wrap-up meeting of the recent Detailed Planning Survey for the MV2C project