By: Cesaree M. Caperare

On 15 March 2022, Director Bagsit conducted a site visit for the project: “Enhancement of Community-based Economic Activities through the Adoption of DOST-ITDI’s Integrated Coconut Processing Technology by Ramirez Upland Farmers Association, Inc.” in Magallanes, Cavite.

RUFAI was registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) back in 2011. Their members are farmers working in an identified Community-Based Forest Management Areas (CBFM) site and have been selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Community Empowerment thru the Science and Technology (CEST) Program of DOST-CALABARZON.

This project responds to the shift in the market profile of the coconut industry. “Nothing is wanted in coconut.” To date, innovation ushered coconuts into a multi-product industry. The demand is evident to the point where even non-traditional coconut products gaining popularity most specifically in the field of health and wellness. Through the assistance extended by DOST-CALABARZON under its Grants-In-Aid Community-Based Project (GIA-CBP) programs and DOST-PCAARRD’s Agroforestry Support Program for Enhancing Resiliency of Community Based Forest Management Areas (ASPIRE-CBFM), LGU-Magallanes’ and RUFAI’s aspiration to establish an integrated coconut processing technology will now translate to life. DOST-CALABARZON together with DOST-PCAARRD, and the Provincial Science and Technology (PSTC) – Cavite led by Provincial Director Gilda de Jesus will facilitate the acquisition of production supplies and equipment as well as the training and capacity-building among the members of RUFAI. Ultimately, through this project, we are looking at increased employment of locals in the future and uplifted socio-economic statuses in this CBFM site.

On the same day, Mayor Jasmin Maligaya-Bautista, on behalf of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Magallanes, awarded Dir. Emelita P. Bagsit, Regional Director of DOST-CALABARZON a plaque of appreciation during the celebration of Magallanes Day in honor of her vital support and assistance in the deployment of several DOST Technologies and provision of S&T interventions through DOST-CALABARZON’s projects and programs.

The event was also graced by various representatives from fellow government agencies, the academe, and provincial government offices in Cavite, the event also involved activities such as the Banchetto, Farmers Forum, Bazaar, Agri Fair, Mass Rabies Vaccination, Jobseekers Mobile, LMI and Career Coaching and a Local Recruitment Activity.