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PIA Press Release

NOMCARRD gears for "Technomart"

by Tess Superioridad Baluyos

Cagayan de Oro City (28 June) -- A vacuum-packed gouda cheese, calamansi and carrot powder ? with appropriate labeling and nutrition facts, sold not only in the local supermarkets but in the world market as well?

A grand vision it may sound, but this is the new approach of doing agri-business being initiated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), through its regional research consortia.

And pretty soon, the Technomart would hit Region 10! Preparations are underway and products to be featured and promoted have been identified.

This is what Techno Gabay Program (TGP) Coordinator for Region 10, Virgilio Fuertes, revealed during the "Taho sa NOMCARRD" radio program over DXIM-Radyo ng Bayan.

Fuertes said that with the implementation of the TGP, products in the farms will not remain in the farms; they will be given added value based on the market needs to enhance their competitive advantage. One of the ways of giving added value to these farmers' products, Fuertes added, is through processing according to industry and market standards and with appropriate packaging and labeling, including nutritional facts.

"Technomart is one of the three major components under PCARRD's Tekno Gabay Program which is envisioned to be fully implemented in the regions starting 2011. This modality aims to develop the entrepreneurship culture among the farmers," Fuertes stated.

For Region 10, identified products for the Technomart are the Gouda cheese from El Salvador, Misamis Oriental; carrot juice from Lantapan, Bukidnon; and Honeymansi from Lala, Lanao del Norte.

Gouda cheese is from fresh milk, the focused commodity of the Farmers' Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center based in the Agricultural Training Institute, El Salvador, Misamis Oriental, of which the Magsasakang Siyentista (MS) is Cresencio Barros, Jr., the national president of the Magsasakang Siyentista ng Pilipinas. Gouda cheese has initially been put in the market, especially hotels and restaurants, for market testing. Result of the testing proved very promising.

Carrot juice is from the processed free fresh carrots of FITS-Lantapan, Bukidnon. Henry Binahon, who is into high-value, chemical and pesticide-free vegetable farming, is the Magsasakang Siyentista of the area.

Lala, Lanao del Norte boasts of abundant fresh calamansi produce. As the focused commodity of the FITS Center in Lala, fresh calamansi is processed into concentrated juice. To give it added value, honey is used to the juice concentrate, instead of sugar. Noted calamansi producer, Rogelio Navales is the MS.

Fuertes stressed that under this modality, the MS of the identified FITS Center has to convince at least 35 of his fellow farmers in their area to adopt the science and technology interventions on the farm practices of focused commodity. This way, they will be able to respond to volume of the market demand once the valued-added farm products are commercialized.

"This is one way of'clustering' to ensure the sustainability of the raw material of the product," Fuertes closed.

Here in Region 10, the Northern Mindanao Consortium for Agriculture Resources Research and Development (NOMCARRD) spearheads the holding of the regional Technomart. Preparations are on-going to finalize the date and the venue.

As one of the banner programs of PCARRD, Tekno Gabay is an effective technology promotion strategy being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). (DOST-10) [top]

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