The Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro called on the Department of Science and Technology- MIMAROPA (MIMAROPA) to address the oversupply of calamansi in the province.
The “Calamansi King” of MIMAROPA, Oriental Mindoro, is facing challenges as the oversupply of calamansi during peak season resulted in a drop in prices and huge post-harvest losses, leaving farmers in the province at a compromise.
According to the Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO), post-harvest losses are due to the commodity’s high perishability, making it difficult to dispose of consumers considering the geographic location of the province. This also compels farmers to sell their produce immediately after harvest at low prices, sometimes at a value lesser than the production cost.
PAO recognizes that engaging in value-adding activities or increasing the value of farmers’ produce is the key to agricultural profitability.
With the collaboration of DOST-MIMAROPA, the provincial government, and other stakeholders in the industry, calamansi farmers in Oriental Mindoro can now venture into a value-adding enterprise using a commercial-scale spray dryer technology that can extend the shelf life of calamansi thereby reducing post-harvest losses and boosting their income. The technology was deployed by DOST-MIMAROPA last June 10, 2019.
The said spray dryer, which was designed by DOST, can convert extracts into powder while retaining the fruit’s nutrient content and maintaining stable shelf life.
The technology can now be accessed at the Agripreneur Incubator – a commodity-based processing facility for agripreneurs that support and strengthen the value-adding of priority commodities of the province. The incubator is located at the Provincial Demo Farm (PDF) at Barangay Merit, Victoria under the management of the Provincial Agriculturists Office (PAO). Anyone interested can use the spray dryer with a corresponding fee.
Partners will assist in other aspects of the project such as sustaining the supply of fresh calamansi fruits, marketing, and selling of products in the local and international market, research and development activities, and technology adoption.