The Korea Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA) Center in the Philippines turned over 13 greenhouses to farmers’ associations in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, May 18.
Three greenhouses were awarded to the Buklod ng Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng Batitang (BNMB) farmers’ association and four to Ugat-Uhay Farmers’ Association (UUFA). This is in addition to the six greenhouses already turned over to them.
“These greenhouses will help raise farmers’ income [with the crops they will grow]. Let’s continue to work together to make this project successful so more farmers would benefit from it. Our country, through KOPIA, will continue to share its resources to uplift the farmers in this country,” Dr. Kyuseong Lee, Director of KOPIA Philippines Center, said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Karen Eloisa Barroga, DA-PhilRice deputy executive director for development, encouraged the farmers to continue with their hard work, perseverance, and unity as a response to the trust KOPIA gave them.
“If your organizations are strong and united, more help will come. DA-PhilRice understands that farmers won’t thrive with rice farming alone, so we advocate adding vegetables in your farms to enhance your opportunities for a better life,” she emphasized. The farmers are planning to grow tomato, green pepper, and cucumber in the greenhouses.
Cresencio Marcos, farmer leader of BNMB, and Reynaldo Mariano, farmer leader of UUFA Mayamot,expressed their gratitude for the opportunity and their commitment to wisely use the greenhouses to achieve higher income.
The project is being implemented in partnership with the Municipal Agriculture Office of Zaragoza and the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute through its Rice Business Innovations Systems (RiceBIS) program. RiceBIS is currently assisting farmers in Brgy. Mayamot and Brgy. Batitang in establishing agroenterprises as an additional income source.
KOPIA is a program under the Rural Development Administration, the biggest agricultural research and development organization in Korea, which aims to help increase productivity and income of local farmers in its partner countries. It has established centers in 22 countries including the Philippines.