LAOAG CITY, June 29 -— Owners of 30 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the different towns and cities of Ilocos Norte are graduating today from a two-day food processing training held at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) training center, Batac City.
Grateful for the free training on cassava and yam processing, Fe Aguinaldo, a buko pie vendor in Laoag City, said she plans to immediately apply what she learned and start selling macaroons and cookies as value-adding products to her customers.
Once participants finish the training, Provincial Director Joven Viernes assured the DOST will assist them in terms of product development and packaging, among other aspects of marketing.
Every year, the DOST continuously provides free training skills to all interested individuals particularly MSMEs to improve their source of livelihood.
According to Viernes, yam locally known as “kamangeg” grows abundantly in Ilocos soil and it is a product unique to the province. It is mainly added to the famous Ilocano dish “dinengdeng” or as one of the ingredients for ginataang bilo-bilo (sticky rice balls in coconut milk) or simply boiled.
Because it is a seasonal mountain product, the DOST in partnership with researchers from the Mariano Marcos State University has recommended the use of pulveriser machine to ensure an all-year round supply.
Cassava, on the other hand, is easily cultivated, offering a wide variety of purposes.
During the training, the participants had an actual cooking demonstration after a brief lecture on food product development. Some of the products they developed included: cassava chips, cupcakes, macaroons, and cookies using yam and cassava as main ingredients. Leilanie Adriano/PNA-northboundasia.com