May 8, 2023
A Japanese company, Takara Inc., specializing on processing black garlic and other garlic products in Japan, has struck a partnership with Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in the province of Ilocos Norte to pilot a garlic cultivation and processing technology.
The Philippine government has designated MMSU as a lead agency for promoting the Philippine garlic industry. While in 2017, a Presidential Decree was issued to raise the self-sufficiency rate of garlic production in the country to secure jobs and income of local farmers, domestic production of garlic has seen a decrease in these years with farmers shifting to other crops due to lack of profit.
The envisioned JICA PPP promotion program, "SDGs Business Verification Survey with the Private Sector for Value Chain of Black Garlic" aims to improve livelihoods through garlic cultivation and processing. It is consistent with national policies and can greatly contribute to solving the problems in the garlic industry as a model project.
Takara Inc. is located in Aomori Prefecture in Japan, an area known for its garlic production, growing about 70% of garlic in Japan. The company actively promotes research and quality assurance of black garlic internationally. On the other hand, the province of Ilocos Norte remains as the top producer of garlic in the country. The project will contribute to enhance the partnership between the Ilocos Norte and Aomori which are equally acknowledged as the garlic capitals of the Philippines and Japan, respectively.
"This partnership between Takara inc. and MMSU is part of our endeavor for PPP promotion that brings win-win relationship between the Philippines and Japanese companies. This means the Japanese private sector introduces innovative and unique technology and know-how to the Philippines and in return, they learn about new promising markets and are stimulated for future investments," said SAKAMOTO Takema, Chief Representative of JICA Philippines.
Sakamoto added "this path-breaking cooperation will play an important role in boosting agriculture development, public-private partnership, job creation and income generation for farmers in the Philippines. Moreover, it will also promote a healthy lifestyle among consumers."
Aside from this project, JICA has been proactively implementing cooperation in the agriculture sector that also includes a food value chain project to stabilize vegetable supply as well as improve distribution, processing, and consumption of vegetables in the Philippines for the better quality of life.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the executing agency of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), which handles technical cooperation, ODA loans and investment, and grant aid, as well as cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs. JICA is the world's largest bilateral aid agency with its scale of operations amounting to about JPY 1,536.1 billion for JFY 2021 and a worldwide network of almost 100 overseas offices including the Philippines.
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