The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc. (PCAFI), and Air21 Global recently created a partnership to enhance our local food industry. This involves extensive collaboration that will cover food production, food processing, logistics supply chain and resources management system, and smart retailing systems.

In a virtual meeting, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pena sealed the partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PCAFI Chair Mr. Philip Ong and President Mr. Danilo Fausto, and with Air21 Global President Ms. Judy Ascalon. This will implement a smart food value chain program to guarantee food security in the new normal.

“This is a milestone that will surely strengthen the cooperation between DOST and its partner industries, PCAFI and Air21, to heighten food production, processing, and extending the shelf-life of local food for national consumption,” DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit said.

Accelerating local food production and generating market opportunities for farmers, the DOST through PCIEERD, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), and partner state university and college (SUC) as well as Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have developed several technologies that will be integrated to complete the value chain.

Smart technologies such as Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines (SARAI) of DOST-PCAARRD and artificial intelligence to process data across the value chain will be used in the undertaking. The Food Value Chain (FVC) is a series of activities that aims to build and create values from each stage, from agricultural production, processing and manufacturing, distribution up to consumption.

Its goal is to develop a sustainable food value chain in the country—from farms to firms and their successive coordinated value-adding activities that produce particular raw agricultural materials and transform them into particular food products that are sold to final consumers and disposed of after use, in a manner that is profitable throughout, has broad-based benefits for society, and does not permanently deplete natural resources.