BUGUIAS, Benguet – The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) recently inaugurated the newly established Buguias Cold Storage Facility powered by a solar panel system. The facility is part of the “Safe Vegetable Production Technology Dissemination and Vegetable Distribution System Improvement Project.”
The project uses two technologies namely Safe Vegetable from Rich Soils (SAVERS) and Farmers’ Improvement of Vegetable Packing and Shipment (FIVPS). Under the FIVPS technology is the construction of a shipping facility for vegetables. The harvested vegetables of the farmers in Buguias, Benguet and the surrounding area will be pre-cooled in the facility and will be delivered to Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) to maintain their freshness.
During the inauguration and blessing ceremony, representatives from implementing agencies and partner institutions expressed their messages of support for the project.
ATI Director Remelyn R. Recoter expressed her appreciation to implementers, partner agencies, and farmers. “This milestone is a symbol of collaboration and progress in our pursuit for safe vegetable production and improvement in the vegetable distribution system. This facility is a result of a fruitful partnership with the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council, or JAEC, and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to them for their unwavering support to our vision of empowering farmers and achieving food security and a stable economy.“
Recoter added that “through today’s activity, I believe that we are showcasing the importance of partnerships for innovation and knowledge-sharing, as we set our sights on creating a brighter future for our farmers and our communities.”
Likewise, JAEC Director Ryoji Sakamoto and Governor Melchor Diclas graced the ceremony, while Rev. Father Mendoza led the blessing of the facility.
Other highlights of the activity included the presentation of SAVERS and FIVPS project and a cultural presentation from the locals of the municipality of Buguias Benguet. The cultural performance showcased one of the Cordilleran rituals known as Cañao, where a man and a woman dance in a circular step, hopping, and skipping in a tempo of the sticks and gong.
The ceremony was held last June 21, 2023 in this municipality.