Did you know? that DOST PCIEERD supported the first extensive Smart Farm in the Philippines?
Smart farming is a revolutionary way of agriculture management through science and information and communication technology (ICT). Taking advantage of the resources brought by the digital age, DOST-PCIEERD proudly invested on the Smart Plant Production in Controlled Environments (SPICE) Program to promote urban farming and high technology plant conservation.
Just recently, DOST had its successful ceremonial harvest with UP Diliman officials in the SPICE laboratory. This shows that smart farming has a real potential to sprout more opportunities in the agriculture sector from reducing ecological footprint of farming, to accurate and productive monitoring, to quality products, and more!
Modern farming methods, such as vertical farming, hydrophonics, micropropagation, and cryopreservation are being practiced in the nursery to grow rare and native plants in a controlled environment where lighting and irrigation system are monitored through the use of electronics, sensors, and automation.
Arugula, pak choi or Chinese white cabbage, greenspan lettuce, and romaine crops were among the green leafy vegetables harvested from the country’s first “smart farm”.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said they got the “first harvest” of vegetables grown at the Php 128-million Smart Plant Production in Controlled Environments (SPICE) Laboratory at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman in Quezon City on July 6.
De la Pena, DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit, UP President Danilo Concepcion, and UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo were present during the harvesting of the vegetables.
“The project has also developed a centralized control system for its farm operations complete with technical documentation of its system design, installation manual, and farm operations,” de la Peña said during his weekly report on Friday, July 9.
He said data from the sensors in the system are also gathered to monitor progress.
“Prediction models were also developed to ascertain the plant growth and optimum harvesting of the produce,” he added.
He noted that plants grow in a hydroponic setup within a controlled environment set-up.
The project, which is implemented by the UP Institute of Biology and Electronics Engineering Institute, is funded by the DOST-PCIEERD.
DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara had branded the P128-million pioneering research as “a game changer” as it sought to promote urban farming and high technology plant conservation.