The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) has a total of seven technologies and two sets of technologies that are ready for mass adoption by farmers and those engaged in agribusiness.

PHilMech Executive Director Rex L. Bingabing said the seven technologies and two set of technologies are a product of the Agrinnovation approach to developing production, post-harvest and food processing technologies for the farming sector.

"Through Agrinnovation, PHilMech was able to develop farming technologies that are ready for adoption in 18 months instead of the usual three to six years. We did this by innovating and improving existing technologies for local adoption, including those under development by the agency," he said.

The seven technologies are: Cassava Digger; Cassava Belt Drier; Pectin Extraction System (for mango peels); Village-level Cocowater Pasteurizer; Compact Corn Mill; Brown Rice Huller (impeller type); and Root Crop Washer.

"The machines for the seven technologies can all be locally-manufactured and that means the metal fabrication industry will benefit once demand for the machines developed by PHilMech will increase in the next years to come. PHilMech is a strong advocate for the local manufacture of farm machineries," he said.

Furthermore, PHilMech said it has two sets of technologies for soybeans, or one for post-harvest and the other for processing soybeans into value-added products like curd, milk and "taho."

"The two sets of technologies for soybeans is a big boost for the Philippine soybean sector. Firstly, the post-harvest technologies will help reduce post-harvest losses while improving the quality of harvests of farmers. And secondly, entrepreneurs will find the PHilMech-developed Soybean Processing System very viable because of its reasonable investment requirement and the quality of products it produces," Bingabing said.

PHilMech developed the Cassava Digger to allow farmers to harvest cassava roots faster and more efficiently. The Cassava Digger is attached to a tractor and reduces the labor requirement to six laborers from 20 per hectare. Its capacity is 1.8 hectares to three hectares per day.

Meanwhile, the Cassava Belt Drier allows farmers to dry granulated cassava in only four hours. Under the traditional sun drying method, it takes one to two days to dry granulated cassava. The Cassava Belt Drier has a capacity of 1,000 kilograms and is equipped with a biomass furnace.

The Pectin Extraction Machine, which extracts pectin from mango peels, can reduce the importation of pectin, which is used in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food processing industries, among others. PHilMech studies showed the pectin extracted from mango peels have the same qualities of the pectin imported abroad that is mostly made from apple pomace and citrus peelings.

The Village-level Cocowater Pasteurizer is equipped with a touch screen programmable logic control system for easy monitoring of pasteurization/chilling temperatures and flow rate. It has an output capacity of 500 liters of coconut water per day or approximately 1,600 bottles at 300 ml per bottle. The system allows coconut farmers to immediately process and package newly-harvested coconut water thus extending the shelf life of the beverage.

The Compact Corn Mill is small enough to be transported by a small utility vehicle to the countryside where there are no milling facilities for corn. It has a capacity of 250 kilograms per hour, recovery of 64.32 percent and degerming efficiency of 91.45 percent. It also eliminates aflatoxin from newly-harvested corn.

Weighing only 98 kilograms, the Brown Rice Huller (impeller type) can process 98 kilograms of brown rice in an hour. The huller addresses the need for rice retailers to mill brown rice on time, or when consumers order. Brown rice has a limited shelf life of only two months.

Finally, the Root Crop Washer, which is in use in the Benguet AgriPinoy Trading Center, washes root crops. It is also a technology developed by PHilMech.

Bingabing also said PHilMech is continuing its field testing of several technologies that the agency is aiming for mass adoption if proven feasible. These are: Fluidized Bed Dryer; GPS-guided/self-driving Tractor; Biocontrol Agents for Fruits; Hand tractor-driven Riding type Rice Transplanter and Mini Combine Rice Harvester; Sugarcane Harvester; and Coffee Bean Color Sorter.

Source: The Philippine Information