A number of women micro entrepreneurs (WMEs) groups now have wider knowledge on the use of multi-commodity solar tunnel dryer (MCSTD) as part of their processing business.
Helen Martinez of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and MCSTD training project leader for WMEs, said the learning session through field exposure/visit with hands-on demo on processing of agri-fishery commodities is regularly conducted by the agency to encourage MCSTD adopters in getting the full benefit of the technology.
The three-day activity was attended by 40 WMEs and enablers from Dagohoy and San Miguel, Bohol; Kidapawan City, North Cotabato; Roxas, Isabela; Abra de ilog, Occidental Mindoro; and Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.
Techniques on processing of agricultural commodities like tomato, kamias, tamarind, mushroom, and turmeric and ginger were taught by Kababaihang Masigla ng Nueva Ecija (KMNE) founder Vilma Joson, Parista Barangay Defense System Multi Purpose Cooperative Chairman Roberto Gaid, and Bakhita Herb and Tea Processor Virginia Madriaga during the field visit and exposure.
Elaine Piñero of New Nagcarlan Women’s Association from North Cotabato said the learning sessions broadened her mind on new opportunities and acquired learnings on product processing and development, marketing tips, product costing, and simple packaging techniques.
“We can go out and be more productive in establishing this kind of processing business,” she added.
When asked about the insights of this learning session, Josephine Tulia of Isabela Green Ladies Organization from Roxas, Isabela, mentioned the activity gave emphasis on innovative creations of women and women’s group to enhance and improve their way of living, as well as to develop their capabilities not only in their home but also in business.
“We never had any knowledge that tomato, kamias, tamarind, guava, santol and ginger that we ignored can provide livelihood opportunities with the use of the MCSTD,” Tulia said in Filipino.
The learning session activities included field exposure/visit to the PhilMech Social Laboratory, KMNE in Quezon, Nueva Ecija , and other MCSTD-based enterprises in the province.
The activity was part of the project “Empowerment of Women as Frontliners for Sustainable MCSTD-Based Enterprises in the Philippines,” which is a PhilMech collaborative project under the GREAT Women Project 2 of the Philippine Commission on Women.