The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has granted more than P723,000 worth of assistance to corn farmers in conflict-vulnerable area in Zamboanga del Norte.
DOST Regional Office IX (DOST-IX) extended funding worth P723,200 to help members of the Tinuyop Rural Improvement Club (TRIC) in Zamboanga del Norte upgrade their corn mill facility.
The aid was made possible through the agency’s Grant-in-Aid (GIA) program.
“The funds will be used to improve product quality. This means that no more mixture of corn hulls in corn grits after milling will be done and at the same time the assistance will increase milling capacity from 192-208 kg/hour to 250 kg/hour,” the DOST-IX said in a statement.
It said before the implementation of the GIA project, the community has no choice but to bring their produce to a neighboring mill that chalks up additional costs for fuel and hauling.
Aside from the assistance, the TRIC members were also trained on equipment operation and maintenance provided by the supplier, Bongbong Mechanical Shop, in coordination with DOST-IX and the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO).
The DOST-IX noted that Barangay Tinuyop is an assistance-priority community identified by the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) for its vulnerability to militant struggle.
“Interventions by the DOST and other agencies in the area are part of the “whole-of-nation” approach in ending insurgency as stipulated in Executive Order No. 70, series of 2018,” it said.
The DOST-IX also reported that through its Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC), it also assisted a community in Sindangan and will provide assistance to two more areas in the province this year.