Manny V. Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has partnered with Israeli firm LR Group to build the largest vegetable greenhouse facility in the Philippines to be located in this town of Bulacan province.
Jovy Hernandez, Metro Pacific Agro Ventures, Inc. (MPAV) president and chief executive officer, said on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony of the 22-hectare Metro Pacific Fresh Farms (MPFF) on Monday that the company is investing close to PHP1 billion for the facility.
Hernandez said MPFF aims to cater its vegetable harvests to Metro Manila, which has a big market for vegetables.
The location of the facility is also close to the National Capital Region (NCR), which makes logistics easier and cheaper.
Pangilinan, MPIC chair, president, and chief executive officer, said this project supports the government’s goal of food security.
“The vision behind these investments is an agriculturally independent Philippines,” he said. “We want to help build a nation that’s capable of feeding all of its people.”
He added MPAV targets to contribute to lowering food prices in the country by increasing local food production.
“So we make sure that prices are affordable, and we will make sure that we are able to increase the supply of vegetables, especially for Metro Manila,” Pangilinan told reporters.
The skyrocketing prices of vegetables have been driving the country’s inflation in the past months due to supply issues.
“The real challenge is to get into large-scale farming. It needs plenty of hectares, thousands of hectares, to achieve the kind of scale, kind of cost,” Pangilinan said.
But he said the company is eyeing land leasing than buying property as this is the model being implemented now by farm producers in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Moreover, through its partnership with LR Group, MPFF will bring in Israeli technologies that will modernize the country’s agriculture and will strengthen sustainable farming practices.
The San Rafael vegetable greenhouse complex will house the full value chain, from seedlings production, vegetable cultivation, sorting, packaging, and marketing.