The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is providing assistance to cacao and soy bean-producing communities in Ifugao and Bukidnon.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said a Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) was signed to assist three community-based projects on cacao and soybean processing in Ifugao province.
He said under the MOA signed DOST-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the recipients of DOST aid were Saint John Organic Farm Families Organization and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Barangay Nayon in Lamut, Ifugao for the establishment of a cacao processing facility; Nalbu Women’s Organization (NOW) and the LGU of Barangay Nalbu in Mayoyao, Ifugao for soybean processing; and Jireh Organization and LGU of Barangay Poblacion in Banaue, Ifugao for soybean processing.
Meanwhile, DOST Region X (DOST-10) also assisted cacao farmers in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon to increase their annual net association income through the DOST Bukidnon’s Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program.
The program is being implemented with the local government unit (LGU) and the Malaybalay City Cacao Growers Association (MCCGA).
“DOST-Bukidnon turned-over a complete set of cacao processing equipment to the Malaybalay City and MCCGA which includes a roasting machine, grinder, stainless steel table, sealers, digital weighing scale and more with a total project cost of P354,500.00,” de la Peña said.
He also noted that the DOST Region VIII (DOST-8) “will also provide hands-on training on tablea and chocolate making, good manufacturing practices, and food safety.”
The DOST top official said the LGU and the farmers’ organization extended counterpart support amounting to P58,800.00 and P100,000.00, respectively.
“The DOST envisions that this project will encourage more farmers to go into farming and entrepreneurship to adapt and soon participate in the Global Fairtrade,” de la Peña said.