DOST, UP harvest vegetables from PH’s first ‘smart farm'

Published July 11, 2021, 3:06 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Arugula, pak choi or Chinese white cabbage, greenspan lettuce, and romaine crops were among the green leafy vegetables harvested from the country’s first “smart farm”.


Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said they got the “first harvest” of vegetables grown at the P128-million Smart Plant Production in Controlled Environments (SPICE) Laboratory at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman in Quezon City on July 6.

De la Pena, DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit, UP President Danilo Concepcion, and UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo were present during the harvesting of the vegetables.

“The project has also developed a centralized control system for its farm operations complete with technical documentation of its system design, installation manual, and farm operations,” de la Peña said during his weekly report on Friday, July 9.

He said data from the sensors in the system are also gathered to monitor progress.

“Prediction models were also developed to ascertain the plant growth and optimum harvesting of the produce,” he added.

He noted that plants grow in a hydroponic setup within a controlled environment set-up.

The project, which is implemented by the UP Institute of Biology and Electronics Engineering Institute, is funded by the DOST-PCIEERD.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara had branded the P128-million pioneering research as “a game changer” as it sought to promote urban farming and high technology plant conservation.