PH’s first-ever “smart farm” looms
THE first- ever “smart farm” in the country looms after the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) put up its stakes to fund its development.
The “smart farm” is a facility for the Smart Plant Production in Controlled Environments (SPICE), a P128 million program that is expected to promote urban farming and high-tech plant conservation.
It will be housed at the DOST- Advanced Science and Technology Institute’s Nursery of Indigenous and Endemic Plants in Quezon City.
Teaming up to develop the SPICE include University of the Philippines Diliman-Institute of Biology and Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute, and UP Los Baños Institute of Biology.
It aims to lead the research and development for the design of a stand- alone urban farm system and establish protocols for micropropagation, cryopreservation, and nursery management of rare, endangered, and economically valuable native plant species.
DOST officials say the core of this project is not only the development of new technology, but also, on a macro perspective, to ensure that we can protect our country’s rich biodiversity.
Modern farming methods like vertical farming, micropropagation, cryopreservation, and hydroponics will be practiced to grow native plants in an environment where climate, lighting, and irrigation system can be monitored, controlled, and changed real-time through the use of electronics, sensors, and automation.
Aside from the technical features of the project, the facility is envisioned to include a “living laboratory” where visitors can see for themselves the various technologies employed, and an outlet where they can buy fresh vegetables that were grown on-site.
Another development shows that most technologies developed by the DOST use local raw materials that went through innovations in terms of product or process improvements, making them distinct from their commercial counterparts.
Among the advantages of local technologies is their low cost compared with the commercial ones which are often imported.
The technologies are made of locally-sourced raw materials which are readily available in the country.
Following this development, the DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) also developed technologies that are responsive to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The Institute has been the Department’s lead agency in developing technologies useful for both enterprises and at the environment.
In the recent DOST-ITDI series of technology offering forums, almost a hundred industries expressed interest to adopt and collaborate.
Among the technologies presented in the forum series include food technologies, food processing technologies, health and wellness, green engineering, and advanced technology which are available for transfer or licensing to interested entrepreneurs.
During the last five years, the DOST-ITDI completed 152 research and development projects in the field of chemical and energy, environmental and biotechnology, food, material science, and packaging.
Aside from developing ready-to-transfer technologies, DOST-ITDI has been providing technical assistance to the Filipino industries for many years now, from product packaging to product development, such as packaging R&D, process improvement, cleaner production, plant layout, test and analysis, waste treatment, and many other technical services which have resulted in increased production volume and productivity. (firstname.lastname@example.org/PN)
Among the advantages of local technologies is their low cost compared with the commercial ones which are often imported. The technologies are made of locallysourced raw materials which are readily available in the country.