An early quarter of 2019, the agriculture sector has seen a rise in the demand for coconuts despite the decline of production. Eager to be of help in the matter, the Municipality of Taysan in Batangas province, together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), conducted Training on Coconut-based Products Processing at the Municipal Agriculture’s Office, Poblacion, Taysan, Batangas, May 23-24.
Aside from the locals’ famous product passion fruit, Taysan is listed as one of the major producers of coconuts in the province. Even as a second class municipality, Taysan aims to improve farmers’ income through technology training to provide value-addition to coconuts and be one of the major contributors of their agricultural products in the national arena.
DOST-Batangas provided the technology training through experts Dr. Katherine Ann T. Castillo-Israel and Ms. Claire S. Zubia of Institute of Food Science and Technology of Univerisity of the Philippines-Los Baños. Among the technologies trained were buko juice, pakumbo, coco jam, buko yema, and buko in syrup. Discussion of the process, standardization, and shelf-life were conducted before every demonstration of product processing. Packaging procedures such as bottling and molding including sterilization and labeling were also tackled.
The discussion paved the way for a healthy exchange of knowledge from the trainers and participants. Moreover, discussion on the potential markets and opportunities for the coconut products enterprise also took place.
Buko Juice as the town’s major product was officially launched on the first day of training. Representatives from PCA, DOST-Batangas, and local government units welcomed the event.
According to PCA, their support for the activity was part of their initiatives to boost coconut products and their production in benefit of the farmers and the next generation. Ms. Felina Malabanan, provincial director of DOST-Batangas, on the other hand, led their office in showing gesture of support to the initiative by consistently remaining to its commitment of providing technical assistance for the continuous development of these products.
by John Maico Hernandez