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Author:  AMADO M. DIMALALUAN JR., PA-II ,PSTC-Zambales

In order to address recurring concerns on improperly dried palay harvests, ten farmers associations from the 2nd district of Zambales recently received portable drying trays at Brgy. Carael, Botolan, Zambales.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) thru its Zambales provincial office in partnership with the office of the  Hon. Congresswoman Cheryl P. Deloso-Montalla of the 2nd District of Zambales distributed 50 units of Portasols last August 9 to 10 farmers associations in the province.

Personally present to witness the turn-over, Representative Deloso-Montalla said “Dasal po natin na ang tulong na ito mula sa DOST ay magamit ng tama ng ating mga Farmers’ Associations upang mas lalo pang paunlarin ang kanikanilang kabuhayan at ang kanilang organisasyon dahil sa patuloy na pagkakaisa at pagtutulong-tulong, lahat possible”.

The trays, also called Portasol,  are stackable multipurpose solar drying trays with net and plastic sheets as cover which serves as protection from pests such as insects, birds, rodents as well as sudden downpours. The trays are made of aluminum which is a good conductor of heat, a critical factor in drying grains. It also makes them corrosion-free. Traditionally, farmers dry rice grains on the road and pavements thereby incurring post-harvest losses and contaminations. Through the use of Portasol, drying is achieved 50-75% faster. A unit of portasol has 12 trays which can load at least ¼ cavan or approximately 12-13 kilogram of palay per tray.

The technology reduces post-harvest losses by as much as 50%, increases drying efficiency, and improves product quality. It can also be used to dry fish, fruits, and vegetables.

The project is implemented under the CEST or Community Empowerment through Science and Technology program of the DOST which has been receiving funding support through the initiatives of Sen. Joel Villanueva.

 

Awarding of Multipurpose Solar Drying Trays (Portasol) from left to right: Mr. John Lerry Bautista (Regional CEST Staff), Ms. Janice Martinez (CEST Focal Person) Mr. Al Fallorin (Sanguniaang Bayan Member), Cong. Cheryl P. Deloso-Montalla (2nd District Representaive), Farmers Association Representatives and Mr. Amado M. Dimalaluan Jr ( Provincial CEST Staff)

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