NEGROS ORIENTAL, August 18, 2022 – Transitioning to enterprise establishment, 54 banana production beneficiaries of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program from Barangay San Miguel, Santa Catalina were trained on banana chips-making for their existing cardava banana farms.
The farmers are members of the San Miguel Farm Family Association (SMFFA) and Buenavista Farm Family Association (BFFA) practicing backyard farming with a combined area of 2.33 hectares (ha). Some members are experienced cardava banana growers even before they joined the association.
As part of the FY 2022 Support to Banana Production Project, the group underwent banana chips production and packaging training through a step-by-step demonstration. The one-day activity was led by Agricultural Center Chief Bernadith Bunado and High-Value Crops Development program staff Ms. Dolores Bantique, from the DA Central Visayas.
To ensure cleanliness of production, proper sanitation was also introduced during the training. Members were equipped with proper gears for food processing such as apron, hairnets, masks, and gloves to keep the preparation hygienic.
After the demonstration, Ms. Bunado advised the participants that they could make it better by including flavors like honey that suited their tastes.
While the DA-SAAD provided processing supports such as machine, packaging materials, and skills enhancement training, other processing consumables such as basic ingredients for specific commodity production will be shouldered by the farmers. This initiative is to help the farmers maximize their harvest by processing raw bananas into chips for marketing.
Ms. Geramae Amores, member of San Miguel Farm Family Association, expressed how grateful she is to have been included in the program, ”kabahin sa training, nagpasalamat ko ug dako bisan in ani kalayo among barangay gisulod jud para makakat-on mi, makabalo mi kabahin ani na training [banana chips processing], salamat jud kaayo sa nang angat harun maka kat-on mi.”
(With the training we received, we are very grateful to the facilitators and speakers for reaching our place to train and share their knowledge on banana processing despite our location. Thank you for extending your services to us.)
The event was facilitated by SAAD Negros Oriental Provincial Coordinator Jehson T. Campos, Sta. Catalina and Siaton Area Coordinators, Erwin Jr. A. Leyva and May Pialago, and HVCDP Coordinator Keelah Bucita from Sta. Catalina Municipal Agriculturist Office.
In June 2022, the FAs also received lakatan banana variety production inputs to complement their existing cardava cultivation (read intervention inclusion here: https://bit.ly/3A4Huh6). ###
Writer: Jolina T. Daño, DA-SAAD Negros Oriental Information Officer
Source: Erwin Jr. A. Leyva, Santa Catalina Area Coordinator