PORTASOL DRYER. The portable solar or portasol dryer distributed by DAR to the Calapugan Agrarian Reform Cooperative in Natividad, Pangasinan. The technology is expected to greatly help farmers in drying their produce, especially during the rainy season. (Photo courtesy of DAR)

MANILA – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said the Portable Solar (Portasol) dryer it distributed to Pangasinan agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) would greatly help them, especially during the rainy season.

According to DAR, the Portasol dryer given to the Calapugan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (CARe.Co) in Natividad, Pangasinan is the “first of a series of DAR-assisted agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) awarded” in the region.

DAR said one of the goals of Secretary Conrado Estrella III is to help boost the livelihood activities of farmers and ARBs nationwide in partnership with other government agencies.

The Portasol dryer distribution was made possible with the help of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“The Portasol, provided by the DOST, allows farmers to dry their grains easier and faster even during overcast days that are common during the country's rainy season,” DAR Ilocos Region head Maria Ana Francisco said in a news release on Wednesday.

CARe.Co is DAR’s beneficiary for this year’s Village-Level Farm-focused Enterprise Development project.

The cooperative is managing a cassava chips business that employs rural women and local cassava growers in Barangay Calapugan.

“Drying is a crucial part of cassava processing and the Portasol can help the cooperative maintain the quality and quantity of its products at this time of the year,” CARe.Co chairman Rogelio Pagal said. "This is a great help to us because we can dry our cassava chips and palay faster. Thank you to the DAR and the support services sector for providing us with these multipurpose solar drying trays.”

The Portasol technology was invented by Francisco Pagayon, president of the Filipino Inventors Society Producer Cooperative.

It is a multipurpose solar dryer composed of stackable sets of grain thermal drying trays that are clean, and space-efficient.

Portasol is specifically designed to reduce the moisture content of large volumes of produce and can accommodate 150 kilos of palay per drying. (PNA)