Panama to play pivotol role for development of Controlled Environment Agriculture

Linking Central and South America, the diverse and dynamic nation of Panama is poised to bring controlled environment agriculture into the 21st century with the establishment of a world-class research and development center known as CIPAC (El Centro de Investigación para la Producción de Agricultura en Ambiente Controlado. Translation: Research Center for the Production in Controlled Environment Agriculture).

Following independence from Spain in 1821 and with the completion of the essential and renowned global shipping link, the Panama Canal in 1914, Panama is once again seizing its own future and the future of agriculture by establishing the premier research center on the planet and for all of Americas…and for the world. With a population of just 4 million, Panama leads the region in economic growth second only to Brazil at 10% per annum. 95% of the population is literate, and following the deposing of strongman Manuel Noriega in 1989, there is a growing, robust and business-friendly environment with an ever-modernizing infrastructure. Panama is the ideal place to nurture the growth of the most cutting-edge aspects of agriculture.

The creation of CIPAC is led by a number of powerful and forward-thinking organizations, who like their predecessors, are carving out a place for the nation, in this case one plant at a time. Urban Farms, the nation’s first large scale indoor vertical farm; SENACYT, Panama’s National Secretariat of Science and Technology; IICA, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, and the Technological University of Panama are leading the charge. Other parties to CIPAC’s creation include Panama’s Ministry of Agriculture, the University of Panama, and of great financial importance to CIPAC’s creation, the Development Bank of Latin America or CAF (Corporacion Andina de Fomento). Additional contributors include Japan’s Chiba University, home to Dr. Toyoki Kozai, better known as the “Father of the Modern Plant Factory” and the Foundation for the Development of Controlled Environment Agriculture (FDCEA).

An article in Urban Ag News Issue 15 (to be released in October) will key players from the CIPAC initiative. Click here for an excerpt of this interview.

You can also learn more about this at at the upcoming International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture, held in Panama in May 2017. Click here for more information!

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