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DAR’s portable solar initiative will aid Albay farmers.

LEGAZPI CITY, PHILIPPINES – Farmers from ten Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in Albay will benefit from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) provincial office and Department of Science and Technology-Portable Bicol’s Solar (Portasol) initiative (DOST-5).

DAR-Albay claimed the PHP630,000 project, “Upgrading the Drying Process of Palay via Portasol Technology,” will assist improve the quality of dried palay in a social media post on Wednesday.

Quipia Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative, Barangay Villapaz Unified Farmers Association, Association of Men and Women of Gabawan, SARIGAN (Sa Agrarian Reform Iriba Gabos sa Kauswagan), GHARCA (Guinobatan Highland ARC Association), Quibongbongan Farmers Association, PANALA Farmers Association Inc., Ubaliw San Ramon Farmer’s Association, HATAFA (Hacienda Tabaco

“The 10 recipients will each receive two units of Portasol Dryer Multi-Purpose Drying Tray to assist them in improving the quality of dried palay, for processing and storage, as well as having a more hygienic drying process,” the post said.

Aside from the Portasol Dryer, DOST has committed to providing ARBOs with training on correct equipment handling and operation, technical assistance, and ongoing project monitoring and evaluation as part of its goal of increasing farmer productivity and product quality.

The Portasol project is part of the DOST’s Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) initiative, which aims to fund initiatives that promote grassroots development.

In a statement, DOST Undersecretary Sancho A. Maborrang said, “Science will continue to work towards the success of our ARBOs by taking a whole-of-nation strategy in order to have a stronger impact.”

He went on to say, “We hope to have a long-term cooperation and continued engagement with our farmers.”

“We are blessed to have been chosen by DOST as the recipient of this technology, which we consider as a manifestation of the government’s unwavering support for the cause and welfare of the farmers,” said Shariza Shaika M. Requiero, president of the Quipia Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative of Jovellar, Albay.

“The farmers were able to survive despite the pandemic because our strongest ally was the government, who would not have made us modern-day pandemic heroes if it hadn’t been for the government,” she added.

The Portasol is a stacking set of heat drying trays that can hold up to 150 kg of palay.

Farmers will be able to prevent wasteful drying every harvest season if they use it instead of the customary method, which involves drying on the street and is a safety problem.

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