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South Korea, DA in smart farming exchange program

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it has agreed to a smart farming exchange program with South Korea.

“The proposed program aims to develop young Filipino farmers to become smart farming leaders and empowered agricultural entrepreneurs and innovators through knowledge-exchange with Korean farmers and experts. It involves a season-long internship program in smart greenhouses and smart open farms in South Korea,” the DA said.

“The training will not just be in production but also marketing, sales, and processing. This will help the youth farmers become agripreneurs, and have their own farms and sell their own products. We will help them find their market,” Korea Agency of Education, Promotion, and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (EPIS) International Agricultural Cooperation Division Manager Yun Ju Hyun said in a statement.

EPIS and the Korea Rural Community Corp. have completed a pre-feasibility study on the internship program, the DA said.

The study recommended taking in young applicants with no background in agriculture in order to “encourage more youth to go into farming.”

The five-year program will also select 15 youth participants each year. The interns will undergo one month of training in the Philippines and be posted to Korean-funded smart greenhouses or smart open farms here, prior to a six-month internship in South Korea.

“The interns are then expected to apply their knowledge through a year of hands-on practice in local smart greenhouses or open farms after their internship,” the DA said.

“As part of the program, a smart greenhouse will be established in the country that will add to the existing four smart greenhouses funded by the South Korean government. An open farm will also be developed (to apply) the youth interns’… knowledge of smart farming technologies,” it added.

The site for the greenhouse and priority commodities will be identified and recommended by the DA and the Agricultural Training Institute. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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