CEST project entails provision of equipment for fiber prod

Two units of Pineapple Decorticating Machines had been provided in Lemery and in Passi City.

These units were purchased by the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) and funded by the Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI) under the Community Empowerment Through Science and Technology (CEST) Project entitled “Community Empowerment Through Science and Technology (CEST) for Fiber Producing and Weaving Community in Brgy. Baraclayan, Miag-ao and Passi City Pineapple Leaves Processor”.

One of the major goals of the project is to enhance the weaving industry through science and technology interventions through the Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center (RYPIC) located in ISAT U Miag-ao Campus. This is to adapt to the rising demand for hablon textiles and allied products. They plan to achieve this by making use of common natural fibers derived from banana, pineapple, and abaca as well as engage state colleges and universities (SUCs) in research towards research and product development using locally available raw materials. In doing so, the project will be able to reach out to weaving and fiber producing communities by helping in sectors such as livelihood, health and nutrition, human resource development, environmental protection and conservation, and Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) and climate change adaptation.

Moreover, the project’s overall objective is to empower handloom weavers as well as fiber producing communities through fortifying industry value chain gaps and science and technology (S&T) intervention packages. Decorticated pineapple leaves as raw fiber would be an added product and expected to generate additional income for existing farmers wherein vast plantation farms for pineapple are presently cultivated purposively for fruit production but local farmers consider it as farm waste after harvesting the fruit. The utilization of fresh pineapple leaves into fiber would be the first initiative in Iloilo Province implemented by the project.

In line with this, there are plans to provide innovative technologies and technical training to engaged communities, improve weaving center facilities, promote meal planning and the Pinggang Pinoy program, provide STARBOOKS to the communities, integrate handloom weaving to Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) subjects, promote waste management and composting, and also promote DOST – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) Crop Monitoring.

Furthermore, inspections were conducted by personnel from Iloilo Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) with assistance from ISAT U and Capiñahan Organic Pineapple Farmers Association in Lemery and Sto. Tomas Pineapple Grower Association in Passi City.

Results of the inspections showed that both units were in good condition and that both machines have a capacity of 70 – 90 kg per hour based on pineapple leaves as stated by the supplier.

The inspections are timely since they were conducted during the commissioning with EA Ranola Machine Shop Inc. as the equipment supplier recommended by DOST – Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI).

Furthermore, it was recommended to document actual capacity of the machines – care of ISAT U – to produce fiber that is decorticated from fresh pineapple leaves (fiber recovery) based on available local pineapple varieties. (KJRGagajena/MASASalazar-DOSTVI-KMU)

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