Cordillera food products get upgrade with Japan aggie facility given to BSU

>> Tuesday, July 5, 2016

By Rocky Ngalob

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Cordillera food and agriculture products can now compete soon with those from other countries as a  food processing center is now in operation here at the Benguet State University. 
The BSU’s Agribased Technology Business Incubator/Innovation Center (ATBI/CI), a building located along the BSU strawberry fields area, where selected locals of Cordillera get to learn innovative, modern and good agricultural practices while at the same time a food processing center, is now officially owned by BSU.
The project was started Jan. 26, 2012 for construction of food processing center in La Trinidad made possible through a contract granted to then University President Ben Ladilad by the Japanese Embassy.
The project was funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) amounting to 107,806 US dollars.
Kenji Terada, First Secretary and Agriculture Attache of the Japanese Embassy, in its monitoring and turn-over ceremony extended his utmost appreciation to the personalities involved in the project.
“In behalf of the people of Japan, I’m very pleased to know that ATBI/CI has contributed greatly to the income of the locals who entered the facility, namely the ATBI/CI incubatees”, said Terada. 
Terada lauded the quality of crops being produced at the tourists’ must visit place in LaTrinidad, BSU strawberry fields, where incubatees in the ATBI/CI practice their learnings.
Dr. Ruth Diego, ATBI/CI director said Terada did not only monitor them but he motivated them as well, placing them to what they are now today.
She added that at a gradual pace they were able to mold young farmers to shift from the destructive conventional farming to the good agricultural practice being advocated by ATBI/CI.
A testament of this, were the first batch of incubatees who are now managing their own farms while at same time mentoring the current incubatees.
Current BSU president Dr. Feliciano Calora said his administration is eyeing the facility to introduce the “value added processed food” concept - adding value through food processing like the BSU peanut butter.
According to Calora, the BSU peanut butter is one of the most desirable processed product of the university.
The however according to him with BSU peanut butter, its main ingredient peanut, I not locally grown here in the highlands where green leafy vegetables are more dominant.
Calora cited the possible production Kimchi because abundance of Chinese cabbage.
He added the popularity of BSU products like strawberry jam can compete with the other locally processed jams.  


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