Calata starts greenhouse farm in Cavite
Agricultural conglomerate Calata Corp., in partnership with Israeli greenhouse solution provider Netafim, has started the construction of its first greenhouse farm in Mendez, Cavite.
Remaining construction materials shipped from Israel will arrive on July 25, and the estimated time of completion is three to four weeks from the first day of installation.
“All land preparations, including the laying of foundation, has been completed,” Calata corporate information officer Jose Marie E. Fabella wrote in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday.
The total area for the project site of the model greenhouse is 1,604 square meters. Of the total area, 1,184 square meters will be planted with lettuce and 420 square meters with tomato using the “Grow Bag” system, Fabella added.
The Grow Bag system will utilize coco peat and coco chips instead of soil, making the crops less susceptible to harmful microorganisms. This is seen to result in better sanitation and to translate to maximized harvests of healthy grown crops.
Netafim, an Israeli irrigation specialist, pioneered drip and micro-irrigation products for agriculture, greenhouse and landscape and mining applications. The company holds over 30 percent of shares of the global drip irrigation market, and is the leading provider of drippers and dripper lines.
With its 4,300 employees and 17 factories in ten countries, Netafim recently hired Goldman Sachs, along with Bank of America Merril Lynch and Centerview, to handle its possible public offering.
Meanwhile, Calata also recently approved the plan to acquire a stake in Black Cell Technology, Inc. owned by Joseph Calata, president and chief executive officer of the company.
Black Cell owns “Krops”, a highly-specialized mobile application that helps farmers and customers locate buyers and sellers of all agricultural products in the country and in neighboring countries.
The application – which has been in full operation since October of 2016 – enables and promotes direct business dealings between buyers and sellers, improving the accessibility and eliminating additional costs charged by brokers and middlemen.
Calata is the largest retailer and distributor of top agrochemical brands, feeds, fertilizers, veterinary medicines and seeds in the country. The company owns and operates AGRI stores and the Golden Bean Feeds, which was acquired in a partnership deal with China’s New Hope Group (NHG).
Some of the company’s multinational business partners are NHG, SinoChem Group, Syngenta, Bayer CropScience and Monsanto Co.