September 6, 2017
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is showcasing agriculture technology and innovation from Japanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to support Filipino farmers via the Philippine government-organized Makina Expo 2017 in Iloilo City this week.
The Japanese bilateral aid agency joins other countries and local agricultural institutions in presenting farm-to-market and food production technologies developed by Japanese SMEs, including low protein rice technology for chronic kidney diseases from BioTech Japan Corporation, high-value fertilizers using garbage composting technology from Okada Manufactory Co. Ltd., and typhoon-resistant farming cage in typhoon-stricken areas in the Philippines from Nitto Seimo.
"Japan as a country has a rich technology base. JICA therefore aims to enhance the quality of its official development assistance (ODA) to partner countries like the Philippines by involving our private sector and sharing their advanced technology and know-how," said JICA Project Formulation Advisor Kumiko Ogawa.
As of August 2017, JICA has been implementing 11 development cooperation activities all over the Philippines under the JICA Partnership with Private Sector scheme introducing useful technology to address development challenges.
JICA said its participation in the expo is also part of its commitment to the current administration's socio-economic agenda of promoting rural value chain development through agriculture productivity. "Introducing agriculture technology that will help farmers add value to their products, and make their farms disaster-resilient will certainly help sustain development," added Ogawa.
Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) showed that 32% of the Filipino workforce depends on agriculture, majority of which are in the countryside.
The Philippines' agri-fisheries mechanization level is at 1.23 horsepower per hectare for all crops, relatively lower than its counterparts in Asia like Thailand (2011 data from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) showed.
To help boost the agriculture sector in the Philippines, JICA has been extending rural infrastructure, capacity building, sharing of Japanese technology and know-how, and financial inclusion through microfinance and credit for the past six decades.