May 10, 2023
A technical cooperation project between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) starts its Implementation phase for developing vegetable value chain models to revolutionize the Philippine agriculture sector.
The threats of rising food prices in the Philippines and unstable food supply are among the major concerns in the Philippine agriculture landscape. For the better quality of life of Filipinos, modernized food supply chain has been long awaited. In addition, income generation of farmers and job creation through the vegetable industry development, in terms of equitable growth of the country, are also the challenges to be addressed. As such, JICA and DA met this week at the project's first Joint Coordinating Committee Meeting, as well as the kick-off meeting of its Implementation Phase, to fast track the development of the vegetable value chain models to transform the sector and address aforementioned challenges.
"To provide a holistic solution, our project envisions to cooperate not only with farmers, relevant government institutions and LGUs, but also with private sector and consumers. JICA recognizes the importance in addressing development needs in every node of the value chain, especially in the post-harvest and marketing sides," said SAKAMOTO Takema, Chief Representative of JICA Philippines Office
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., calling the rising food prices as ‘emergency situation,' stressed the importance of a robust agriculture sector among his various priorities.
The JICA-DA Project for Market-Driven Enhancement of Vegetable Value Chain in the Philippines (MV2C) is aligned with the Philippine Vegetable Industry Roadmap 2021-2025. The latter involves more stakeholders in the agriculture value chain and tackles approaches to level up the vegetable sector and achieve food security and better quality of life. The MV2C is expected to serve as an input to realize the strategies of the said roadmap by piloting activities in Benguet, Quezon, and Metro Manila. These activities include capacity building of farmers to diversify harvest time and stabilize vegetable supply. The others include improving the distribution, processing, and consumption of vegetables in the Philippines.
Japanese experts are being dispatched in the Philippines to provide technical guidance and share their experiences and knowhow in developing Food Value Chain models. The project expects that farmers and other agriculture stakeholders will learn from the innovations and best practices of Japan in the sector.
According to the latest surveys of the Philippine Statistics Authority, poverty incidence among the Philippine population rose to 18.1% in 2021. Moreover, the subsistence incidence, which is defined as the "proportion of Filipinos whose income is not enough to meet even just the basic food needs" also increased to 5.9% in the same year. Thus, a sharp increase in food prices have serious impact, while also affecting 30% of the country's agriculture workers in the poverty line.
Consequently, JICA further highlights that a market-oriented approach in agriculture will also be essential in addressing income generation, job creation, and disparity mitigation among others.
Once completed, the vegetable value chain models are envisioned to be disseminated nationwide.
DA and JICA officials during the Kick Off and 1st Joint Coordinating Committee Meeting.
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.
For more information on JICA and JICA Philippines' activities, please log on to https://www.jica.go.jp/english and https://www.jica.go.jp/philippine/english/index.html. Follow our Facebook page for more updates: https://www.facebook.com/jicaphilippines (external link)