ANTIQUE, June 27, 2022 – More than a hundred growers of peanuts and vegetables underwent a four-day training facilitated by the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program implementers, aimed at educating farmers on proper food handling, processing, and a quick touch on branding for agribusiness.
Thirty members each from Pangalcagan Farmers Association (PFA) and Talisay Rice Farmers Association (TRFA) for vegetable processing, and 20 members each from Lactudan Farmers Association (LFA), Tibacan Laua-an Farmers Association (TLFA) and Canituan Farmers Association (CFA) in Laua-an, were upskilled on making peanut butter and flavor-coated peanuts. The training was made possible by the SAAD Western Visayas with the assistance of the Local Government Unit (LGU) through the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of Bugasong and Laua-an, Antique.
Two separate batches for PFA and TRFA received actual demonstrations on ampalaya and squash pickles-making, and squash noodle production from June 21 to 22. The activity is under the FY 2022 Hog Fattening Enterprise with Vegetable Production Project distributed on May 17.
Enterprise components under this project include meat shop materials and equipment, chest freezer, and weighing scale. Read at https://saad.da.gov.ph/2022/05/bugasong-fas-benefit-from-da-saads-hog-fattening-project.
Ms. Maria Leticia Troncoso, Retired Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Science and Technology consultant, served as the training resource person who provided basic knowledge on good manufacturing practices focusing on food safety and hygiene which are essential to keeping food safety for consumption, secured from foreign elements.
She also demonstrated food cooking techniques – cleaning equipment, separating ingredients, ensuring that food is cooked to the correct temperature, and properly storing cooked food. Practicing these techniques and observing proper packaging and storage helps control respiration rate and ripening.
The participants were also reminded of the etiquettes in food processing, which included but not limited to, washing their hands before and in between sessions, organizing the ingredients before cooking known in french as mise en place, proper use and handling of kitchen materials, as well as the importance of measurements in the process.
PFA Board of Director (BOD) Gregorio Moreno shared how grateful his group is with the enhancement training, “Kang nagligad nga training, nag focus kami sa production kang laswa. Nami kay may follow-up gid na training para sa processing. Kung magduro ang amon laswa sa ulihi, ang sobra ma process na namon,” Mr. Moreno remarked.
(Last training, we learned how to produce vegetables. It is nice to know that we are provided a follow-up training on processing. If there is abundance in our production, we now know how to process the excess).
Preparation of peanut by-products
Meanwhile, 20 participants each from LFA, TLFA, and CFA were provided with hands-on training for peanut butter and coated-peanut making under FY 2022 Peanut Production Project, on June 23 to 24.
Ms. Troncoso likewise emphasized the importance of food packaging enumerating three salient points why proper packaging is crucial: to protect the product and prolong its shelf life, to ensure ease of product hauling or transport, and to maximize the use of product labels which serve as a marketing tool.
“This activity is essential to help our farmers earn extra income. What they absorb and apply could help them to strategically minimize overhead costs. Betty Damayon, whom I had conversed with, shared that the techniques will help her cut the expenses in production,” said Ms. Troncoso.
Focused on peanut value-added products, Ms. Troncoso presented the various processing stages the peanut had to go through during grinding – from crumbs, to fine ground, to paste and lastly, to smooth and creamy puree. Alternatives to lacking materials and equipment were also introduced and incorporated in the training.
Under the project, the recipients will be provided with postharvest equipment such as collapsible dryer, and enterprise components like peanut grinder, cooking materials, and equipment (bowls, measuring cups, wooden spoon, spatula, working table, sealer, LPG tank, weighing scale, packaging and labeling materials) in July.
Mr. Reynaldo Samsona, President of LFA, commented that the learnings he had gained from the training will be of great help to his association. He shared, “Makita ko gid na pwede namon makwartahan kag ma aplikar ang mga nabuol namon sa training. Dako gid ang amon pasalamat sa SAAD sa paghiwat sang sini nga aktibidad.”
(I can see that we can generate income and apply the takeaways we gained from the training. Big thanks to SAAD for conducting this kind of activity).
Antique with four focused areas – San Remigio, Luau-an, Valderrama and Bugasong – has a total budget allocation of Php 91,711,946 from 2019 to 2021 aiding 8,061 members of 202 farmer associations. They received interventions from rice, corn, vegetable, livestock, and poultry projects.
For this year, the province has a budget allocation of Php 30,046,540 to be granted to existing SAAD-assisted associations in the form of food production and livelihood interventions, and a series of capability building training. ###
Writer: Cedie Bataga, DA-SAAD 6 Information Officer
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