DA urges MSMEs, farmer coops to develop healthy food products

ILOILO CITY, April 16 (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas encouraged micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs), to develop healthy food products that can be promoted to the Ilonggos.

In the capacity development training on processing and packaging for MSMEs and FCAs, Maria Teresa Solis, DA6 Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) chief, said that MSMEs and FCAs have the capability to develop healthy products from their agricultural produce in the region.

“COVID-19 pandemic made us aware to indulge in healthy lifestyle, thus the agri-sector is not only concerned with food supply but also to develop healthy and presentable processed agricultural products,” she said.

Around 30 MSMEs and FCAs participated in the training that focused on corn and mushroom production held April 13-15, at MO2 Westown Hotel in Mandurriao district here.

DA6, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), spearheaded the training which aimed at enhancing the existing capacity of farmer-entrepreneurs to indulge in production and processing of high value crops, like corn and mushroom.

Eden Panisales, DA mushroom consultant, presented the basics in mushroom cultivation, including identifying culture media, pure tissue culture, preparation of fruiting bags, and grain spawn.

On one hand, Rizalyn Loloy a mushroom processor from Dumangas, Iloilo introduced the different products she personally developed from mushroom such as crispy mushroom chips, kimchi, pickled atchara, and mushroom sisig, among others.

Other topics featured during the training included different food safety tips and mycotoxin content in corn, value adding and processing of various corn products, packaging 101, and basics on labeling. (DA-RAFIS6/JSC/LTP/PIA6 Iloilo)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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