DOST to aid soybean, cacao sectors in Ifugao, Bukidnon

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

February 15, 2021, 7:15 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo) </em></p>

(PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will aid the soybean and cacao sectors in the provinces of Ifugao and Bukidnon, officials said.

DOST-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has chosen three community-based projects in Ifugao with the following beneficiaries -- Saint John Organic Farm Families Organization and the local government unit (LGU) of Barangay Nayon in Lamut town for the establishment of a cacao processing facility; Nalbu Women’s Organization (NOW) and the LGU of Barangay Nalbu in Mayoyao town for soybean processing; and Jireh Organization and LGU of Barangay Poblacion in the town of Banaue also for soybean processing.

"The beneficiaries shall ensure the implementation and completion of the project and attainment of the project’s objectives and expected output. We recently signed (an) MOU (memorandum of understanding) with them. They are also set to provide the site and building or processing area to accommodate all the equipment to be acquired," DOST-CAR Director Nancy Bantog told the Philippine News Agency on Monday.

Apart from assistance on equipment acquisition, the DOST will also provide technology trainings, as well as assistance on packaging and product labeling, she said.

The agency has allocated more than PHP732,000 in grants for the three projects.

Bantog said the projects will provide additional livelihood to the beneficiaries, and also add value to their products.

"Those organizations tried to process soybean before, and they want to upgrade their skills and equipment, both in production and processing," she said.

Bantog said these organizations have approached the DOST to express interest to apply the technology learned from a soybean processing training they attended in March 2020.

That training, she said, was jointly organized by the DOST-CAR, the Department of Agriculture (DA), and PhilMech.

Meanwhile, DOST Region X (DOST-10) Director Alfonso Alamban told the PNA they are allocating PHP345,500 for the equipment and training of Malaybalay City Cacao Growers Association (MCCGA).

"According to our partners in DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and DA, cacao is an emerging industry in Bukidnon. We will be providing free trainings, likely to begin in March and will accommodate about 30 (individuals)," Alamban said.

As for the equipment, Alamban said the DOST recently turned over a roaster, dryer, grinding machine, stainless steel table, impulse heat sealer, and digital weighing scale to the beneficiaries.

The assistance is part of the agency's Community Empowerment through Science and Technology program, and is expected to boost the beneficiaries' skills on tablea and chocolate making, good manufacturing practices, and food safety. (PNA