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Bontoc IP members enhance skills on meat processing and marketing

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE, November 24, 2022 – In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the Mountain Province, the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program conducted a training on Meat Processing, Labeling and Marketing with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for the members of the Derway Farmers Organization (DFO) from the Bontoc tribe. The one-day training aims to ensure and uphold safety and high quality in food production.

The DFO is a rural-based farmers’ association in Alab Oriente, Bontoc, Mountain Province which is composed of thirty (30) members. They were organized on April 2, 2021 to carry out programs of the government and non-government agencies, especially in the conduct of livelihood interventions in their area. Further, it was also registered under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the DA in the same year.

The DFO members are mostly small rice and Highland Value Crops (HVC) producers, local farm labor service providers, stay-at-home mothers, senior citizens, and livestock and poultry raisers whose income falls below the poverty line. 

The DFO is one of the farmers associations (FAs) in Bontoc who was granted the Poultry Production and Marketing Project in 2021 and Enhancement Broiler Production Project for FY 2022. One of the end-goals of their project is to create a community-based enterprise by processing and marketing chicken meat products produced locally. With this, a training was conducted to further enhance their skills in meat processing and marketing. Ten members from DFO attended the training 

Jones Malwagay, the Senior Trade Industry Development Specialist under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the DTI in Mountain Province, shared his knowledge on basic hygiene for food processors, sanitation guidelines, proper packaging and labeling of products, as well as the legal basis of the food processing and packaging practices.

The participants were also trained on proper management of the processing area, such as the organization of utensils and other materials for easy access, wearing the proper outfit, and proper handling of products during the processing. 

In his discussion, Mr. Malwagay emphasized the significance of packaging and labeling. He explained that proper packaging is important since it protects the product from contaminants when transported, stored, or used. However, thorough sanitation of the packaging material must be observed to avoid transmission of contaminants to the products. He further discussed that labeling must always come with the packaging as it tells significant information about the products being sold to the customers. 

Lastly, Malwagay briefed the participants on the legal basis of food processing practices, packaging and labeling with GMP which food processors must comply with. Among these include the Republic Act 3720, also known as Food, Drugs and Devices, and Cosmetics Act, Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Act of 2009, Republic Act 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013, and the Administrative Order 153 s. 2004 or the Revised Guidelines on Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing Packaging, Repackaging, or Holding of Food. 

To proceed with the goal to establish a community enterprise, the association plans to partner with the local government units and other regional line agencies to avail of facilities, such as processing and marketing center for their chicken meat products. Further, the DFO aims to participate in more advanced skills training on chicken meat processing and business management to capacitate its members towards its goal of becoming a supplier of quality dressed chickens, fried chickens, and other chicken meat products in the province, as well as to nearby provinces. 

“Nan naitulong nan DA-SAAD project mi ay nay et nakatulong tapno makaala kamis new skills mi ya nakaala nan association si puonan ta maruguian nan enterprises mi. Wada et di tapin di ituloy mi as association ta dumakdake ta umalaan si lagbo,” said Sarah Cangcang, a member of DFO.

(Our project with the DA-SAAD Program helped us gain new skills and capital for the association to start an enterprise. With that, we would like the business to grow bigger using the additional income we acquired.) ###

Writer: Florde Liza A. Afidchao, DA-SAAD Mountain Province Information Officer

Derway Farmers Organization
DA-SAAD Bontoc Project Development Officer and Community Development Officer

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