Author: Janice M. Martinez, SRS-II, CEST
Local farmers and vegetable growers have consistently lost the battle against bad weather especially during typhoon season. Severe weather conditions have led to ruined crops and lost income for those dependent on farming as their source of livelihood.
Come now the technology that gives our farmers a fighting chance against the unpredictable weather.
The Department of Science and Technology in Central Luzon and the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) in Baler, Aurora, recently inaugurated a typhoon-proof, smart agriculture farming system in the town of San Luis.
The vertical indoor, high-value crop production system, uses less soil and water than traditional farming. It uses solar panels to energize lighting fixtures, drive the drip irrigation with fertigation, remotely regulate temperature, and run the ventilation system in a closed environment unaffected by external conditions. Thus, ensuring a bountiful harvest all the time.
Present during the inauguration were DOST officials led by Secretary Fortunato T. De La Peña and Dr. Julius Caesar V. Sicat. ASCOT officials were led by Dr. Eutiquio L. Rotaquio and local government officials.
“Karangalan po ng Bayan ng San Luis, ng ASCOT at buong lalawigan ng Aurora na may ganitong isang napakagandang programa. Ang napakagandang inobasyon na ito ay para sa ikauunlad ng hindi lamang ng isang pamayanan kundi ng buong lalawigan ng Aurora at pati na ng buong bansa. Tatanawin po itong malaking utang na loob ng Bayan ng San Luis. Malugod po naming kayong pinasasalamatan sa araw na ito”, expressed Mayor Ariel A. De Jesus’ Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff Roselito Dadero.
The project is funded under the DOST Grants-in-Aid (GIA) program. DOST III Regional Director Julius Caesar V. Sicat assured everyone that there will be continuous cooperation with ASCOT to develop advanced technologies that will benefit the people of Aurora.
(From right to left) Science Chief Fortunato T. de la Peňa together with LGU-San Luis Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff Roselito Dadero, DOST-III Regional Director Julius Caesar V. Sicat, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Sancho A. Mabborang, leads the ribbon cutting ceremony during the inauguration of Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT)'s Typhoon-Resilient Vertical Indoor High-Value Crop Production Facility
Project Leader Engr. Amarlo Banania explains that the system uses Internet of Things (IoT) for monitoring of temperature, humidity, pH, level of nutrient solutions among others. Likewise, the system can be accessed remotely through this technology.
The future of high value crops production is inside this container van that will soon provide fresh vegetables in Aurora province all year round.