Succulent plant producers in Atok get technology boost from DOST

Provincial

ATOK, Benguet (PIA) – The Department of Science and Technology, the local government unit of Atok and the Jade Livelihood Association of barangay Calasipan Cattubo, have signed a memorandum of agreement for a Technology Intervention for Compost Production project to boost the productivity of succulent plant producers.

DOST Benguet Provincial Science and Technology Director Sheila Marie Singa – Claver, Mayor Raymundo Sarac and Jade Livelihood Association President Mary Grace Kismod, led the signing of the MOA at the barangay’s multi purpose here on Wednesday (June 3).

Through the project, DOST will provide science and technology interventions that include provision of one unit of heavy duty shredder equipment, product laboratory analysis, conceptualization of product label and design, and training on compost fertilizer production.

This will help the association produce at least 40,000 kilograms of compost fertilizers a year, which aside from its use to improve the production of their succulent plants and other potted cut flower products, will also provide additional income by selling the fertilizers to other farmers and plant growers.

Boosting the association’s succulent production with the compost fertilizer and providing additional income thru selling compost will be a big help to them since their livelihood undertakings were also affected by the COVID pandemic, Claver said.

The Jade Livelihood Association composed of 15 women members started their business in 2017 through a P180, 000 livelihood grants from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Kismod expressed gratitude to DOST for the project. This will surely help boost the production of their succulents and at the same time they can also earn more by selling compost fertilizers which have a big market with Benguet being a vegetable, cut flowers and other agriculture products producing province.

Kismod said the community quarantine has affected their livelihood. With the restricted movement of people and transportation, they are having a hard time in selling and in delivering their products.

During the community quarantine, no tourists are passing by the Halsema Highway where their production and display/selling areas are strategically located, she added.

JDP/CCD-PIACAR