On February 15th, 2017, three (3) students from Panama University (UP) and three (3) students from Panama Technological University (UTP), accompanied by professors from each university, arrived to Japan under the Academic Exchange Program with Chiba University to train Panamanian students and researchers in the innovative agricultural production called Plant Factory or Vertical Farming, utilizing controlled-environment agriculture technology.
As a token of appreciation for the granting of scholarships for Panamanian students and professors, H.E. Ritter N. Diaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan, offered a dinner to Dr. Michiko Takagaki, Vice-President for Public Relations, and several professors from Chiba University, expressing his satisfaction for the implementation of the academic exchange agreement, which was negotiated through the Embassy of Panama to Japan in 2015. This is the second group of Panamanian students and professors who participate in the training of this new agricultural technology.
It is important to point out that Chiba University is one of the pioneer universities in the research and development on the new agricultural technology, and therefore, will be participating as sponsor in the 2nd International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture, which will be held in the Convention Center of the Hotel El Panama on May 17 to 19 of this year.
The controlled environment agriculture is an emergent system of agricultural production that includes the cultivation of vegetables and plants inside of buildings especially designed with controlled environment. This plants are cultivated in vertically arranged platforms, fed with nutrient through hydroponic method and illuminated with artificial light in order to facilitate the plant photosynthesis. These production systems protect vegetables and plants from bad weather as well as from bacteria, insects and other kinds of pests that affect the produce in traditional open sky agriculture.