Jordan, Guimaras – Some 15 agri-business enterprises in the Province of Guimaras including walk-in participants attended the Orientation on Packaging and Labeling at Caza Guesthouse, San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras.  The event was conducted by the Department of Science and Technology VI (DOST VI) through its Guimaras Provincial S&T Center (PSTC) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture VI (DA VI). 

The project intends to address the competitiveness of agri-fishery products through the provision of packaging-related assistance.  The overview of the project was discussed by Mr. Allen Daryl Asuelo, RCh, DOST Guimaras Provincial Science and Technology Director. DA VI was represented by its Focal Person, Ms. Judy D. Bulquiren.  This initiative is part of the DOST-DA partnership under the project; “Enhancing the Market Competitiveness of Western Visayas Agriculture and Fishery Products Through Packaging Improvement”.

Mr. Paul Ainesis U. Sambas, PkgE, SRA DOST VI, discussed the Basic Principles on Packaging and Labeling. Mandatory Labeling Requirements of the Philippines was discussed by Mr. Mark Anthony A. Gadot, SRA DOST VI, detailing the guidelines on how to properly label food products.  Also, one-on-one consultancy services were offered to the beneficiaries to consult about their specific product labels.  The design and packaging label requirements will be provided by DOST VI and the packaging and labeling materials will be given to the beneficiaries once completed.

With the economic importance of agriculture, there is an urgent need to increase farm productivity, diversify from traditional products to high-value commodities as well as aggressively move towards value-adding activities like food processing with quality product packaging.  Post-harvest losses are one of the major factors that affect farm productivity and this problem has even become more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Thus, the project aims to improve the packaging of various products and commodities being produced by farmers, fisherfolks, and agribusiness enterprises in the region.  DA VI provided funding support last July to DOST VI amounting to Php 7.5M in order to provide a wide range of packaging related assistance to various stakeholders.  (SSalazar/DOST VI KMU with reports from Guimaras PSTC)