MABALACAT, Pampanga—To drive the seed industry to develop improved varieties, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is now working with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and some private institutions for the establishment of a National Seed Technology Park at the New Clark City.
This infrastructure is seen to make high-yield seed varieties readily accessible in the local market to help farmers improve the level and quality of their harvests. It will serve as a one-stop hub for the seed value chain, including research and development facilities, a model seed farm and processing facility, infrastructures for skills training, experimental or commercial plots, demonstration plots, and an exhibition and farmers’ convention center.
The proposed seed technology park will be part of the country’s first agri-industrial business corridor (ABC) that the DA and BCDA will establish in a 30-hectare site at the New Clark City.
The ABC will showcase modern agribusiness and multi-purpose facilities and is expected to create thousands of jobs and address employment challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
DA Secretary William Dar said that the ABC will “integrate smallholder farmers by providing them access to resources, including state-of-the-art production technology, capital, and value-adding facilities.” Construction work is expected to start by 2021.
On July 1, officials from the DA, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), and other attached agencies and bureaus, together with officers and members of the Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA), visited the future site of the Department’s new venture in seed technology.
During the visit, the group discussed the land utilization for infrastructure development and agriculture based on the initial plans of the Department and other stakeholders. BCDA Vice President for Business Development Arrey Perez gave a briefer on the advancement of the New Clark City and the plans for the institution of the seed techno park.
The members of the DA delegation during the excursion were Undersecretary-designate and Chief-of-Staff Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero, ATI Assistant Director Rosana Mula, Special Area for Agricultural Development Program Director Myer Mula, Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards Director Vivencio Mamaril, Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Engineering Director Ariodear Rico, Bureau of Plant Industry Assistant Director Glenn Panganiban, and representatives from the National Seed Industry Council and International Affairs Division.
Representatives from the private sector who joined the ocular visit include East West Seeds Company CEO and PSIA President Mary Ann Sayoc, PSIA Executive Director Gabby Romero, Haverson Enterprises General Manager Olivia Wong, Bayer Crop Science Market Development Manager Reinad del Valle, Seedworks Philippines’ Ruben Nunez, and Corteva’s Polo Ablozo. (with reports from Tim Caday and DA Communications Group)