In a proactive move to enhance the capabilities of local farmers, the Provincial Agriculturist’s Office (PAgO) conducted a comprehensive four-day training on Value Addition of Agricultural Commodities of Oriental Mindoro. The event took place from July 24 to 28, 2023, at the Agri-processing Center of the Provincial Demo Farm in Merit, Victoria.

Collaborating with the Department of Science and Technology Provincial Office, PAgO aimed to empower farmers by imparting valuable skills in developing innovative products. A total of 40 participants, predominantly members of Rural Based Organizations and processors from various municipalities, were engaged in the training. The focus was on the development of value-added products, such as calamansi ginger tea, calamansi muffins, rice crispies, rice polvoron, rice coffee, coconut macaroons, banana bread, banana flour, banana peel cookies, and dehydrated mango. Additionally, participants were introduced to the intricacies of wine production using various commodities like rice, bignay, and dragon fruit.

Leading the hands-on training and processing of these innovative products were Engr. Manilyn A. Joco, Engr. Honna Mae Dimapilis, and Ms. Jeziel Casapao of the Provincial Agriculturist’s Office. Complementing the practical sessions, Mr. Jesse M. Pine and Ms. Christine Caringal of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) delivered lectures on crucial aspects such as entrepreneurship, packaging and labelling, and Good Manufacturing Practices.

The training underscored the presence of operational processing facilities, such as the Food Innovation Center in MINSCAT Calapan City and PAgO’s Agri-Processing Center in Merit, Victoria. These facilities serve as positive catalysts, encouraging farmers and entrepreneurs to explore vast opportunities in  value addition.