Plant and Food Research begins closer relationship with the Asian Development Bank

Plant & Food Research and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed to cooperate on an initiative, and the New Zealand research institute has also secured a contract with Quezon City, the largest city in metropolitan Manila.

Signing ceremonies for both these developments will occur in Manila today, timed to coincide with the visit to the Philippines by New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and a delegation of New Zealand business leaders.

“We are delighted to be cooperating with the Asian Development Bank, which is a major force for good across Asia and the Pacific,” said the CEO of Plant & Food Research, Mark Piper, who is visiting Manila as a member of the business delegation.

“Our work aligns very well with the mission of the ADB. The Bank provides loans and expertise to improve lives and livelihoods, protect the environment, combat climate change and so much more. Through high quality local partnerships, Plant & Food Research applies research and other skills to build capacity, improve the lives of smallholder farmers and boost environmental and economic sustainability across the value chain.”

Under an MoU signed today, Plant & Food Research will work closely with the ADB to develop market access guidelines for mango production in the Philippines. This will enhance export opportunities and boost the diversity and competitiveness of the agricultural sector in the Philippines. The initiative also supports ADB goals of promoting rural development and food security by enhancing the connectivity of markets and agricultural value chains.

Food Research work with Quezon City, this will support the city to redevelop its traditional markets.

Traditional markets provide good economic returns for small scale producers. In many cities however, supermarkets have won market share over traditional markets because they manage food quality and food safety more effectively. Quezon City wants to address quality, safety and other challenges as it invests to secure higher prices for producers and better customer experiences at revitalised traditional markets.

Plant & Food Research will deliver a markets cold storage business plan and guidelines for post-harvest handling and food safety for market vendors. Findings are likely to have relevance for similar operations across the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. The Quezon City markets project is worth NZ$220,000 and is supported in part by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s G2G programme.

Source: Plant and Food Research

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog