DTI turns over P1M in equipment to 2 groups-A A +A
Monday, August 18, 2014
THE Department of Trade and Industry 7 turned over close to P1 million worth of equipment in the municipality of Sibonga and city of Carcar yesterday to support two farming organizations.
The Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Balaas (Namaba) in Sito Balaas, Barangay Guimbangco-an in Sibonga and the Gabay sa Bagong Pag-asa (GBP) in Barangay Napo in Carcar are two of the ten community beneficiaries of DTI 7 for its Shared Service Facility (SSF) Program. They received P498,000 worth of equipment each, totaling P996,000.
In two separate ceremonies, DTI officials turned over a deshelling machine, chopping/grinding machine, desiccated dryer machine, carbonizing drums and charcoal briquetting machine.
The technology upgrading of agri-based products, according to DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte, is a response to the need to develop local agricultural products, side by side with the market demand for fair trade.
Under the SSF program, machines and facilities are awarded to chosen communities. She said the move is in line with the current administration’s vision of inclusive growth.
DTI Cebu Provincial Director Nelia Navarro said the agency is allotting more than P20 million this year for SSF programs in Cebu alone. Last year, DTI 7 provided Cebu P22 million.
In an interview at the sidelines of the Sibonga turnover, DTI Cebu business development chief Elias Tecson explained that there is a product gap in the global market today for agricultural products.
Dessicated coconut, a raw material for virgin coconut oil, has a huge demand in Canada, Italy, and Japan. Charcoal briquettes have a big market in Korea, Japan, and USA, said Southern Partners and Fair Trade Center production manager Rolando Labradores.
Namaba is a supplier of raw coconuts for SPFTC while GBP is a supplier of handicraft.
Namaba was formed in 2010 and now has 264 members. GBP was formed in 2004 and now has 114 members.
For Namaba alone, it supplies around 3,000 to 5,000 coconuts to SPFTC every three months for P6 to P8 per piece.
At present, SPFTC records a demand of 30 metric tons of desiccated coconut and 230 metric tons of coconut charcoal weekly, according to Labradores.
Tecson said that with the turnover of the complete set of equipment, both organizations will be capable of producing “semi-processed, value-added” products.
“Before ang i-supply sa mga communities kay mga raw materials lang. Karon semi-processed na maong mas dako dako na ang presyo (Before communities only supply raw materials. Now, they are producing semi-processed products, in which they can get higher yields),” Tecson said.
Namaba chairman Zosimo Olanda expressed gratitude to DTI, saying the equipment will increase the members’ income. DTI 7 projects that the members are expected to get an increase in production capacity of 10 to 15 percent by 2014.
Caberte assured that the agency will continue to find more markets for the organizations’ products with the increase in production.
Aside from equipment, DTI will also be conducting capacity-building trainings with the project proponents on food manufacturing and recycling.
Labradores expressed confidence that once the inauguration happens in September, the 10 communities will meet the present demand.
He said that this has the potential to benefit neighboring towns in the south like Dumanjug, Dalaguete and Barili in terms of supplying raw agricultural products that will then be processed in Carcar and Sibonga’s SSFs.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 19, 2014.