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PhilMech readies new technologies for farmers
by Ladylyn Jose - Thursday, 21 July 2016, 11:18 AM
June 26, 2016: www.philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Technologies from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) are now ready for mass adoption to help farmers and those engaged in agribusiness improve production and reduce losses.

Through PhilMech’s Agrinnovation approach, nine technologies can now be adopted by local farmers to improve production, post-harvest and other value added products.

PhilMech executive director Rex Bingabing said the move was in line with the incoming administration’s bid to make the agriculture sector more competitive.

Bingabing said mechanization is just one way to improve production, noting that choosing the right variety, crop management, proper irrigation and fertilizer should also be considered.

“The machines can all be locally-manufactured and that means the metal fabrication industry will benefit once demand for the machines increase in the coming years,” he said.

One example is the cassava digger that reduces work requirements to six laborers from 20 per hectare and losses to two percent from 10 percent. It has a capacity of 1.8 hectares daily for faster and more efficient harvesting.

PhilMech also created a cassava belt drier that allows farmers to dry granulated cassava in only four hours from the traditional two days via sun drying method and has a capacity of 1000 kilograms and equipped with biomass furnace.

The pectin extraction machine, which extracts pectin from mango peels and can reduce the importation of pectin used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food processing industries, is also up for mass adoption.

The village-level cocowater pasteurizer, equipped with touch screen programmable logic control system, has an output capacity of 500 liters of coconut water per day and will allow farmers to process and package newly-harvested coconut water and extend the shelf life of beverages.

Meanwhile, the compact corn mill which has a capacity of 250 kilograms per hour with recovery of 64 percent and degerming efficiency of 91 percent, can eliminate aflatoxin from newly-harvested corn.

Other technologies available for mass adoption are the brown rice huller, root crop washer, and two others for post-harvest and processing of soybeans.

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