NUEVA VIZCAYA — The DTI R2 Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Office led by Provincial Director Atty. Michael B. Paggabao took a huge step in addressing agricultural losses in the province through the conduct of a Training on Postharvest Handling and Management for Fruits and Vegetables on 02-04 April 2024 at Bambang and Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

The said training was conducted in partnership with the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 02, United States Agency for International Development Strengthening Private Enterprise for Digital Economy (USAID SPEED), and Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT) Inc.

This training is part of the ongoing USAID-funded and DTI-SCLMD-supported “NVAT Fresh Online Platform” launched last year which aimed to digitalize the marketing activities of the trading center.

Upon the invitation of DTI R2 Regional Director Leah Pulido Ocampo who saw the necessity of preserving and prolonging the freshness of agricultural commodities reaching Metro Manila markets, a multi-disciplinary team of experts/professionals from the University of the Philippines Los Baños – Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center (UPLB-PHTRC) led by Dr. Matilde V. Maunahan, Executive Director, identified the gaps in post-harvest practices of NVAT’s suppliers and traders.

Over 80 participants composed of farmers, traders/disposers, buyers, and government employees joined the said activity.

Dr. Edralina P. Serrano, Engr. Ryan Anthony Lualhati and Ms. Rona Kaye Franco, from the UPLB-PHTRC led by Executive Director,  Dr. Maunahan, were the resource speakers for the whole training duration.

“The DTI is here to converge all agricultural players in addressing food security, and to ensure that no part of the agricultural value chain is left behind,” PD Paggabao said as he emphasized the role of the agency in answering the question of why is DTI involved in doing postharvest training.

Meanwhile, DA Nueva Vizcaya Experiment Station Manager Arsenio M. Apostol, Jr. affirmed and committed the agency’s full support in all endeavors, especially those focusing on postharvest.

“The postharvest training conducted on vegetables in NVAT and citrus in Malabing, Kasibu have provided our farmers and other stakeholders additional important knowledge and technologies that will contribute to improve product quality and reduce food loss for food sufficiency,” NVAT General Manager Gilbert Cumila said as he mentioned how timely and relevant the training was.

Among the topics discussed were Basic Concepts of Postharvest Operations and Processes for Fruits and Vegetables, Harvesting and Maturity Determination, Pre-harvest Factors Affecting Postharvest Quality of Fresh Produce, Postharvest Handling Preparations for the Market, Postharvest treatments, Requirements of Good Storage and Transport System, and Packinghouse Establishment and Equipment Needs.

Also present were Ms. Kay Milangco from USAID SPEED; and BDD Chief Lenore Lee Lopez, CPD Chief Rowena Mayangat, TIDS Silvester Miguel, and JBC Bhritany Vidal from the DTI.

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Date of release: 05 April 2024