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A citronella processing facility will benefit 250 farmers.

An executive of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region 10 claimed on December 1 that the establishment of a citronella plant will benefit more than 250 Higaunon farmers in Bukidnon.

“They will have a processing plant for the first time. The establishment is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2022 “Ritchie Mae Guno, DOST Bukidnon Provincial Director, informed the Philippine News Agency.

She added the DOST’s Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program had granted PHP600,000 in funds for this.

Farmers in Malitbog, Bukidnon’s Sitio Impahanong, Barangay San Luis, are estimated to earn PHP583,000 in the first year of full processing of pure citronella oil.

According to DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pea, the hydro steam distillation technology that will be obtained for citronella processing will allow farmers to profit from the citronella grass grown on their 10-hectare property.

The initiative is in collaboration with the Malitbog local administration, and the funds were handed over to them on November 8.

“To completely capacitate the indigenous people community, the intervention will also include product creation, business, and organizational management, and market matching prospects,” de la Pea stated.

According to him, the project’s goal is to give economic activities to all residents in the area, thereby increasing their socioeconomic position.

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