MANILA - Metro Pacific Investments Corp on Monday said its subsidiary Metro Pacific Agro Ventreus Inc (MPAV) will build a facility that will house the country's biggest vegetable greenhouse as it ramps up its investments in agriculture.
During the launching ceremony, Metro Pacific Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan said the company is investing close to P1 billion for the project.
MPAV partnered with Innovative Agriculture Industry Ltd, an affiliate of its Israeli-based partner LR Group, for the 22-hectare property called "The Vegetable Greenhouse Project" in San Rafael, Bulacan, MPIC said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.
The farm, which is set to open next year, will have several greenhouses and other facilities. The joint venture said it is eyeing to plant tomato, zucchini, pepper, lettuce and eggplant.
The project will use modern technology so that it will need less water, less land. Controlled farming conditions will also lead to shorter crop cycles, MPIC said. It will open up opportunities to improve the country's knowledge in advanced farming techniques, it added.
"This modern farming facility will be 5 times higher in production yield vs traditional farming methods. It effectively uses 90 percent less water, 90 percent less land, 90 to 99 percent fertilizers and pesticides, will have year-round production," said MPAV President and CEO Jovy Hernandez.
Pangilinan assured consumers that despite using modern technology, their vegetables would remain affordable and would be made available to supermarkets and wet markets, among others.
"It's not going to be expensive. We'll make sure the prices are affordable and will make sure we'll be able to increase the supply of vegetables," said Pangilinan.
Pangilinan, however, said not all crops could be planted in greenhouses.
"Real challenge is to find, to get into large scale farming. Which means you need plenty of hectares, thousands of hectares to achieve the kind of scale, and the kind of cost you worry about. Certain crops are just not capable of being planted in greenhouses like sugarcane," he said.
He added MPIC is eyeing more investments in agriculture
MPIC has been investing heavily in agriculture with the launch of Metro Pacific Dairy Farms last December and the purchase of part of Axelum Resources Corp, a top coconut and coconut products exporter.
The greenhouse is MPAV and LR Group's second project.
FROM THE ARCHIVES