19 May 2021

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            The Department of Science and Technology Region V (DOST V) through the Provincial S&T Center (DOST V PSTC) – Camarines Sur, partnered with the Office of the Vice President’s Angat Buhay Program and the Local Government Unit of Pamplona for the community-based project “Upgrading the Production of Value-Added Farm Products of Golden Parauma Producers Cooperative (GPPC)”.

            GPPC’s products include chili powder, vegetable-based chips, and products from soya bean, pili, corn, rice, coconut and other high-value crops. However, post-harvest losses and product quality during drying are perennial problems of the cooperative’s farmers and producers. Through the Angat Buhay Program—of which GPPC is a beneficiary—the cooperative linked with DOST to provide appropriate S&T interventions.

            Under the project, one unit of PORTASOL Multi-Purpose Thermal Drying Trays was awarded to GPPC on 19 February 2021 at Tambo, Pamplona, Camarines Sur. PORTASOL is a portable and lightweight solar dryer composed of aluminum thermal trays that can be laid down on an open field or assembled into racks with a plastic sheet cover as protection from pests and fungus.  Developed by Mr. Francisco Pagayon, the equipment’s affordable and simple design provides two- to three-times faster drying rate than conventional pavement drying.

            As CamSur Provincial S&T Director Ms. Patrocinio N. Felizmenio remarked, DOST knew that PORTASOL is the right technology to address the thriving cooperative’s post-harvest losses while minimizing production cost, ensuring product quality, food hygiene and safety.

            LGU-Pamplona Acting Mayor Ronaldo Franco professed his support to the project and willingness to conduct more initiatives with DOST to improve the agricultural sector: “Simula pa man ay akin nag prayoridad ang patuloy na paunlarin ang ating agrikultura, kaya makakaasa ang lahat na nais magpaabot ng tulong sa suporta ng LGU-Pamplona.” Ms. Babet Lavadia, OVP & Angat Buhay representative, expressed her appreciation to DOST, LGU-Pamplona and GPPC for their untiring work and support, further adding that Angat Buhay aims to deploy more DOST programs and technology to the program’s so-called Omasenso farmers.

            Both surprised and thankful with the assistance, the GCCP members had nothing but words of appreciation and commitment. As GPPC Chairperson Ms. Anita Fernan puts it: “Hindi naming alam ang aming ginawa upang mapasama sa mga programa at proyekto ng DOST at Angat Buhay Program, subalit makakaasa po kayo na lahat ng proyektong ipinapaabot sa amin ay aming pangangalagaan at pag-uunlarin.” (DOST V PSTC-Camarines Sur)