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THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) said it met with representatives from the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) to discuss the latter’s proposal to improve vegetable production in the Philippines and set up cold storage facilities.

At a meeting on Sept. 6, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar met with JAEC Senior Local Coordinator Toshiharo Sato and others to discuss their proposed “Safe Vegetable Production with Marketing Technology Improvement” project. 

The project, which has a funding of P82 million, aims to help Filipino farmers improve their production via the safe vegetable from rich soil technology which develops the soil using organic matter such as wood vinegar.

“The JAEC’s proposal also included the construction of a cold storage solar-powered facility in Buguias, Benguet, as well as the purchase of refrigerated cooling trucks, to improve post-harvest handling, storage, and delivery,” the DA said.

According to the DA, the JAEC project will be financed by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is currently being reviewed by the National Economic and Development Authority.

The project will also require the input of the Departments of Finance and Foreign Affairs, before approval by the Office of the President.

Upon approval, a memorandum of agreement will be drawn up between the DA and JAEC.

Mr. Dar expects the proposal to be approved before the current government steps down. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave