Tuesday 05 December 2023

PHILIPPINES – New technologies may help revive the coffee and the cocoa sector

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Philippine Coffee Board (PCB) is initiating a partnership between Dr. Toyoki Kozai, professor emeritus and former president of Japan’s Chiba University who developed the so-called plant factory with artificial light (PFAL) technology, and the Cavite State University in of Indang, Cavite, which houses the Philippines’ National Coffee Research Center, to foster the revival of coffee and the cocoa sector.
PFALs can produce twice the output as open field growing (depending on the number of tiers), save water, avoid pesticide use due to the clean environment for plant growth, can be put up even in places with harsh weather or contaminated soil (since they use closed plant growing systems), and can ensure supply of food or plant materials where they are needed, according to Kozai.
Plant factories can use anything from simple fluorescent lamps to LEDs and can be powered through the grid or using renewable energy such as solar panels.
This plant factory technology using rack-like tiers is being used to grow leafy vegetables such as lettuce under controlled conditions (temperature, light, air, water, liquid nutrients), but seedling propagation may also be applied on coffee and cacao.
PCB co-chair Pacita Juan said she would initiate local training between Kozai and Filipino farmers to bring plant factory technology in the Philippines.

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