ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), through its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), has released a PHP7.9-million assistance to boost the capacity of four agri-based firms in the region.
In a statement on Wednesday, DOST-9 said the recipients of the financial assistance were the RGV Rice Trading, JJS Organic Agriproducts and General Merchandise, Dong’s Animal Feeds Manufacturing, and Joshjeed Palay Seed Farming.
Jennifer Pidor, Zamboanga Sibugay Science and Technology director, said the RGV Rice Trading received PHP1.4 million for the procurement of an 8.5-ton capacity mechanical dryer for its rice milling facility in Diplahan.
She said the mechanical dryer is expected to improve the quality of the firm’s produce, increase productivity by at least 25 percent, and generate additional employment opportunities in the town.
Ricardo Villa, the proprietor of RGV Rice Trading, said in the statement they will also strengthen the structure where the mechanical dryer will be installed.
The DOST-9 said the JJS Organic Agriproducts and General Merchandise received PHP3 million to upgrade its rice mill facility in Dumalinao, while Dong’s Animal Feeds Manufacturing was granted PHP2.2 million for the acquisition of mechanical dryers for its corn processing plant in Tambulig, both towns in Zamboanga del Sur.
Meanwhile, the Joshjeed Palay Seed Farming received PHP1.3 million for the procurement of rice processing equipment for its facility in Mahayag, also in Zamboanga del Sur.
The recipients are expected to improve their efficiency through mechanized operations, increase product quantity and quality, provide stability in terms of demand and supply, and create additional employment opportunities, according to the DOST-9.
The agency said the move is also aimed at helping the agri-based sector to adapt to the competing challenges in food safety and security, help mitigate climate change, and provide sustainability in managing natural resources.
The SETUP is one of the flagship programs of the DOST that provides innovation fund assistance to encourage micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt technological innovations and improve business operations through different technological interventions such as the acquisition of innovative and cost-effective facilities; product development; process improvement; workforce capacity empowerment; and consultancy services, among others. (PNA)