A Joint Venture-Agreement was signed yesterday, December 3 at The Bunker between the Provincial Government of Bataan represented by Governor Albert Garcia and Agrilever HK Ltd. represented by Chairman Yoav Schwalb for the purpose of establishing an Agriculture Innovation and Technology Center (AITC) in the Municipality of Dinalupihan. Present in the said signing are Dinalupihan Mayor Gila Garcia, Agrilever Business Manager Aaron Samuel, Representative of Senator Cynthia Villar Ms. Mabel Esguerra, and Public-Private Partnership Investment Center (PPPIC) Head, Atty. Joey Angeles.
Through the efforts of Senator Cynthia Villar 19 governors and Mayor Gila Garcia went to Israel to observe the best practices in modern agriculture while Mayor Gila Garcia took the initiative to bring the AITC in Bataan, in Dinalupihan to be specific. Early next year, construction of the AITC facilities and other logistics will start.
After the signing, Gov. Abet said, “We’re very excited about this new partnership through PPP, for bringing 21st modern agriculture in the province. Thanks to Agrilever for making it possible”.
Both parties involved are hopeful that progress can be seen in the next few months for this will benefit the farmers and consumers alike. Aside from the AITC, a Hydroponics and Green House project will also be built in the province that will produce vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, basil and potato to name a few.
The projects are designed as complete vertical manufacturing facilities, from seedlings, to cultivation, harvesting, post-harvest processing, final packaging and cold storage, expecting the biggest return as the final product is ready to be delivered to supermarket shelves, hospitality industry or export markets at premium prices.
Said design incorporates the use of technological, cultivation management and business intelligence systems aimed at reducing risk and maximizing returns which include a complete ERP system for farm management enabling the yield management and crop planning according to specific customer needs and standards; a business information platform to support market supply chain optimization and enable a trading marketplace for premium products, on site sensors and machine learning reducing risk and enabling accurate yield and quality prediction and post-harvest cold storage facility ensuring “fresh-cooled” products which retain freshness and extend shelf life, by delivering the produce in cooled trucks to customers.
In her short message, Mayor Gila said, “We want to encourage the younger generation and show them that there is economy in agriculture. Hopefully it will be a big help to the farmers in Bataan as well as in the country”.