A multi-million peso facility in the Negros Island Region that will extend the shelf life of processed foods and agricultural products in now operational in Dumaguete City.
The Shared Service Facility or the Food Development Center in Negros Oriental, worth P6 million, was constructed inside the Foundation University campus, through a memorandum of agreement.
The facility was launched and inaugurated yesterday by Department of Trade and Industry Region 18 director Aster Caberte, who is also the director of DTI 7, in the presence of University officials headed by Mira Sinco, and representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of Science and Technology from regions 7 and 18.
Since the capacity is big, DTI and Foundation University thought of allowing micro, small, and medium enterprises all over the region to avail of the services of the facility to include dairy producers, fish and marine products, and ready-to-eat products, such as “budbud cabog”.
With this facility, Caberte said the popular “budbud” in Tanjay and “budbud cabog” in the province can go a long way in the export market without refrigerating, given the right packaging.
During calamities, emergency food requirements can also be immediately sourced out from the facility, she added.
Caberte said it is always strategic to partner with the academe and DOST because research is built in, while DTI is concentrating more on business development.
She said the retort facility is a vital piece of food processing equipment needed by the business sector, exporters associations, and producers groups, that can prolong the life of processed foods without refrigerating even for years.
Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ed Du welcomed the latest development, adding this is something that Negrenses can be proud of. He said the machine will further boost the competitiveness of local producers and exporters, especially in the export industry.
Du said the “budbud” in the province can now be exported after it goes through the process using the retort facility.
He has tried exporting choco mango and “budbub” abroad but failed because of the lack of a retort machine, he added.*JG
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