Date Published: June 17, 2021

Castillejos, ZAMBALES – Farmers here have seen the huge potential for sweet potato that can be valuable to augment profit and pursue fresh marketing in the locality.

This was revealed during the joint inspection conducted by the Regional Project Coordination Office 3 (RPCO 3) of the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) to the subproject – Processing Center and Storage Facilities with Solar Dryer for Sweetpotato on May 25, 2021, here.

According to I-BUILD Rural Infrastructure Engineer Michael Angelo Maglaque, the project is now 100% completed and will be turned over to the proponent group, (Nagbayan FFS Farmers Association), to oversee the operation and management of the facility.

The facility will be used to consolidate fresh food grade sweetpotato as well as the dried sweetpotato chips/granules from its members that will be delivered to the target markets in Balintawak and Moncada in Tarlac.

To stay competitive, the buying price of sweetpotato from the enterprise will be P1.00 per kilo which is higher than the prevailing rate of traders in the area as a way to encourage farmers to sell directly in the enterprise.

The enterprise will also help its members to realize additional income by buying their reject feed grade sweetpotato which currently has no value and will then be processed to dried sweetpotato chips/granules.

With this, the enterprise is seen to supply 544,000 kilograms of fresh food grade sweetpotatoes and 107,192 kilograms of dried sweet potato chips in its first year of operation.

The facilities, valued at P5.6 million will be a huge relief for farmers to preserve the quality and maintain marketability of sweet potato and other produce prior to packaging and delivery.

Processing Centers and Storage Facilities are initiatives of the DA-PRDP that bends towards prevention of product wastage allowing farmers to earn more from their produce. (MA. REINA LEN G. LUNA, RPCO3 InfoACE)

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