Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and Israeli-based company LR Group are se to build the “biggest vegetable greenhouse facility” in San Rafael, Bulacan.
On Monday, February 15, MPIC President and CEO Manny Pangilinan led the groundbreaking event for the 22-hectare Metro Pacific Fresh Farms.
This investment, estimated at P1 billion, seeks to produce 1,600 metric tons of vegetables annually.
LOOK: Here’s the scale model of Metro Pacific Fresh Farms.
— Patrick Cruz (@jpscruz_) February 20, 2023
“The vision behind these investments is an agriculturally independent Philippines. We want to help build a nation that’s capable of feeding all of its people,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan expressed hopes the new venture will help ease food inflation and reduce the country’s dependence on importation.
Based on January’s inflation data, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages raised by 10.7% from 10.2%.
To boost local production of vegetables, the farm will adopt sustainable measures and agricultural innovations such as hydroponic farming, a method of cultivating plants using a water-based nutrient solution instead of soil.
This farming technique will use 90% less water, 90% less land, and 90% to 99% fewer fertilizers and pesticides.
From 2010 to 2019, government data shows that 33.9% of water consumed by Filipinos goes to the agriculture sector.
Pangilinan expands agri portfolio
The project with LR Group is just the latest of Pangilinan’s MPIC slew of investments in the agricultural sector.
On February 6, Metro Pacific Agro Ventures Inc. acquired 34.76% ownership in Axelum Resources Corporation (ARC) for P5.32 billion.
ARC is the leading manufacturer and exporter globally of coconut products and one of the major suppliers of Vita Coco, the global market leader in coconut water.
The company is also a major exporter of desiccated coconut, coconut milk/cream, coconut cooking oil, and other coconut products.