The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Region X has provided P1.6 million worth of assistance to fruit farmers in Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental.
The aid, which is provided under the DOST-X’s Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program, stands to benefit 17 farmer-members of the Kinoguitan Food Processors Producers Cooperative (KFPPC), who are mostly women, based on the statement provided by the DOST Science and Technology Information Institute (STII).
The CEST program aims to empower communities through five different key entry points: livelihood, health, environment, disaster risk reduction and management, and education.
The DOST-X turned over a check amounting to P1.6 million to the local government unit of Kinoguitan on April 14 via an online conference, read the DOST- STII statement
“The LGU-Kinoguitan and DOST-X partnership was sealed to provide appropriate technologies to process the fruit produce into high-value products that will give the farmers a higher financial return than just selling the fresh fruits,” it said.
The assistance will be used to procure a vacuum fryer and a food dehydrator that can be used to process the farmers’ harvest.
The DOST-STII noted that Kinoguitan is abundant in tropical fruits such as mango, jackfruit, banana, and durian.
“However, the Municipal Agriculture Office reported that 470 out of 1,253 metric tons of fruit are left unsold and wasted during peak fruiting seasons,” it said.
It said by acquiring a vacuum fryer and a food dehydrator, the fruits will not be wasted and will be converted into other food products.
“The vacuum fryer can be used for deep-fat frying and is designed to fry the fruits under reduced pressure, thus retaining their natural color and flavor. The equipment will make the fruits crunchier in texture,” the DOST-STII said.
“On the other hand, the Food Dehydrator preserves the fruits by removing the moisture content at high temperatures, thus minimizing spoilage,” it added.
The LGU-Kinoguitan will fund the fruit processing or production area, while the farmer-beneficiaries will provide the raw materials and other kitchen tools.
“The online fund turn-over signals the strengthening of the partnership and linkage between the stakeholders that is seen to empower fourth to sixth-class communities in the province of Misamis Oriental,” the DOST-STII statement read.