THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on February 5, 2024.
The event took place at the Provincial Capitol Compound, Cagayan de Oro City. This is for the implementation and use of the FoodtrIP or the Mobile Modular Food Processing Facility (Drying Module).
This is Mindanao’s first Mobile Modular Food Processing Facility (MMFPF). With the signed agreement, the drying module developed and designed by the DOST Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and housed inside a 32-foot van will be deployed in the province for agri-fisheries value-adding. The FoodtrIP is a GMP-compliant food processing facility on wheels, allowing flexibility and accessibility to develop viable commercial products from local vegetables, fruits, and crops, especially when there is a surplus.
The MMFPF designed for Region 10 features a drying facility that has pre-processing, mechanical drying, and packaging technologies. This mobile facility will produce dried and/or powdered ingredients, including emergency food reserves (powdered root crops, vegetables), herbs, and spices (garlic, onion, etc.)
The MMFPF, coined as Food on-the-Road Innovation and Processing Facility (FoodtrIP), serves also as an onsite food processing training and demo facility for agricultural products in the Municipality of Claveria, Misamis Oriental. It helps address farmers’ dilemmas regarding surplus and food loss. Claveria is the prime vegetable producer in the province.
Ma. Dolor L. Villaseñor, Chief SRS – Food Processing Division of DOST-ITDI briefly shared the components and background of the MMPF project. “With this project, our vision is for the incidence of food loss commodities in the region to be reduced to at least 50% in the next 5 years,” she added.
The DOST ITDI will be deploying four FoodtrIP in the country, namely retort, frying, drying, and aseptic modules. “Sa apat, ang isa nandito sa Misamis Oriental… Misamis Oriental is an agriculture province, and we know that the project will be in good hands with our Governor and also the support of our provincial agriculture officer,” said DOST Regional Director Engr. Romela N. Ratilla.
The MOA also stipulates that DOST X and PLGU MisOr will open the facility to farmers, cooperatives, and other producers to access the facility. They will work together to operate the MMFPF to provide technical services for a sustainable and effective operation. The Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental also emphasized their full support in the project, being an active partner on this initiative since 2020 through the Provincial Agriculture’s Office.
Present during the MOA signing and presentation was Governor Peter M. Unabia. He shared his commitment to the project, recognizing its substantial impact. “Dako ni sya nga trabaho. We should create a team para mo manage ni ana”, Gov. Unabia said. After the launching event of FoodtrIP, it is now in its resting station at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Agricultural Development Complex (MOPADC) in Ane-i, Claveria.
FoodtrIP aims to promote innovation by introducing new product ideas and fostering collaboration among stakeholders and beneficiaries. The project is dedicated to improving food processing, ensuring food security, and contributing to economic development in the province through its valuable services.