Leyte, as one of the pilot provinces of the iSTART Program, focuses on agriculture as one of the priority sectors for development. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Office 8, thru the iSTART Program, introduced a customized indoor farming technology, the Intelligent Green Box (IGB), suitable to the climatic conditions in Eastern Visayas frequently hit by severe weather conditions. The IGB technology aims to optimize indoor farming technology suited to these conditions which allows the growing of high-value crops in a climate-controlled environment. This in turn, will help the Nation's movement to achieve food security despite its being prone to destructive typhoons. With the guidance of the iSTART lead consultants, Academician Dr. Alvin Culaba, and Dr. Joel Cuello of the University of Arizona, USA, a research station was established at the Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) in Tacloban City in 2020, wherein a Bio-Imagineering team was also formed to learn about the technology. This year 2021, in collaboration with the Provincial Local Government Unit of Leyte through the leadership of Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, another IGB was established at the La Granja de Reyna Farm at Brgy. Bagacay, Tacloban City. This IGB technology at La Granja will showcase the technology to farmers, considering that the La Granja farm serves as a farmer training facility to the approximately 400 farmer associations in Leyte. Governor Mic Petilla is eyeing to deploy the technology to all the farmer associations in the province.
DOST VIII iSTART Leyte Establishes IGB in La Granja de Reyna Farms
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