Metro Pacific Agro Ventures’ latest project aims to reinvigorate the art of farming through modern and sustainable farming techniques.
Metro Manila, Philippines, 20th February 2023 – Metro Pacific Agro Ventures Inc. (“MPAV”) is going on a whole new agriventure this year.
Following the launch of Metro Pacific Dairy Farms (“MPDF”) last December 2022, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (“MPIC”) in partnership with Israeli-based company LR Group, MPAV sets its sights on modernizing Philippine vegetable cultivation through Metro Pacific Fresh Farms (“MPFF”). This will be the biggest vegetable greenhouse facility in the country, with the ability to produce high-quality vegetables all year round. Located in San Rafael, Bulacan, this 22-hectare property will be home to a complex of modern greenhouses that will boost sustainable farming practices and modern farming technology.
With the Innovative Agriculture (Agro) Industry Ltd. (“IAI”), an affiliate of the Israeli-based partner, LR Group, the project broke ground on the 20th of February, comprising a full value chain including seedlings production, vegetable cultivation, sorting, packaging, and marketing.
“The vision behind these investments is an agriculturally independent Philippines,” says MPIC Chairman, President, and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan. “We want to help build a nation that’s capable of feeding all of its people.”
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel to the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Ilan Fluss, says, “I am proud that Israeli technologies and expertise are being introduced to the Philippines and contribute to the country’s food security and agricultural productivity. This is just the beginning of Israel and the Philippines’ agri-adventure on agriventures!”
Producing More with Less
Food insecurity continues to affect the country’s overall health. Just last 2022, the United Nations tallied 59 million Filipinos suffering from food insecurity—the highest recorded number in Southeast Asia. Improving accessibility to fresh and nutritious food has become more vital than ever. That is why MPAV continues to do its part to achieve food security and, ultimately, food independence, not only for the benefit of our economy but also our overall nation’s health.
“Growing our own produce is a step in developing our country’s capability in terms of food
sustainability,” says MPAV President and CEO Jovy I. Hernandez. “Partnering with IAI and the LR Group, moves us towards a future where ideally, food security is the norm, not just an aspiration. This is part of MPAV’s Fresh Forward Movement. Fresh is always Best and Filipinos deserve nothing less than Fresh.”
The World Health Organization writes, “Promoting a healthy food environment requires involvement across multiple sectors and stakeholders, including government, the public, and the private sector.” Having access to nutritious food is a basic human right. Through improved agricultural practices and resources, fresh and nutrient-filled produce will be more accessible rather than a luxury.
MPFF’s launch aims to boost food accessibility in the country. Vegetable produce will reach Filipino homes with better quality vegetables, making more meals nutritious and improving consumers’ overall health. This will be done through innovations in modern farming—Nutrient Film Technique Hydroponics (“NFT”) and the Drip Irrigation System. It is a sustainable and efficient breakthrough, enhancing Philippine agriculture by increasing yield and reducing the use of valuable resources: these techniques will use less soil, water, and sunlight, yet full-year crop production will be made possible as these methods can reduce crop cycle time.
Philippine farming made sustainable
MPFF aims to reinvigorate the art of farming. Equipped with a modern greenhouse and state-of-the-art farming technology, this project aims to produce more with much less.
Our agricultural country has a land area of 30 million hectares. Forty-seven percent of which is already agricultural land. To this day, irrigation remains to be one of the issues facing the agricultural sector, as well as many other factors such as low output, high costs of inputs, lack of post-harvest facilities, and many more.
The agricultural industry accounts for 70 percent of freshwater’s global usage, while 50 percent of the Earth’s land surface is dedicated to agriculture, both significantly contributing to climate change. Operations under MPFF’s modern greenhouses will champion sustainability by reducing water and land usage alongside controlled farming conditions. These controlled conditions will shorten crop cycles and make better-quality vegetables more accessible in the country.
This climate-proof farming will turn the dream of year-round crop production into reality. With NFT hydroponics and Drip Irrigation Systems, there will be 90 percent less water, 90 percent less land, and 90 to 99 percent fewer fertilizers and pesticides used, ensuring year-round production, consistent quality, and predictable output. MPFF projects an estimate of producing 1.6M tons of vegetables through these modern farming methods.
MPFF also aims to open up a multitude of opportunities in the agricultural sector, especially for our local farmers. The project aims to push for training, advanced farming techniques, and employment opportunities for surrounding communities. It’s a fresh forward start for both food accessibility and agriculture as a whole.
“The greenhouse project here in Bulacan is only the first step in building a platform for a much larger advocacy. Metro Pacific Fresh Farms is but a part of a larger ecosystem that is set to fundamentally change how all Filipinos eat,” says MPAV CCO Toby Gatchalian. “We view this shift as a multi-sectoral movement that involves not just the private sector, but the public sector, as well as the academe so we could continue to innovate and discover novel solutions.”
This latest venture for MPAV provides a fresh perspective on what Philippine agriculture could be; modern, sustainable, and accessible. Fresh is Best. And the Filipino deserves nothing less than Fresh. #FreshForward