Last May 27, the DOST-CAR through its Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) here facilitated the signing of a memorandum of agreement with the Besao Organic Sugarcane Planters Association (BOSPA) of Besao Proper for the community-based muscovado processing amounting to P319, 577.00.
The project aims to upgrade the existing muscovado processing center, and to increase the income of members of the association.
Minirva Songaben of the PSTC here said the project funding is given in the form of materials or equipment based on the identified needs of the project.
For this project, it will be used for one mechanized sugarcane extractor, two pieces cooking vats (120 liters capacity), initial provision (625 pieces) of eco-friendly packaging materials, initial printing (1,000 pieces) of new label design, and laboratory services such as the nutritional facts and the microbiological analysis of the product.
As provided in the MOA signed by BOSPA president, Mr. Pablo Dicdican, Sr and the Local Government Unit of Besao represented by its Municipal S & T Coordinator Ms. Dam-ay Guinayen, the LGU shall assist the DOST-CAR through PSTC in monitoring the project to ensure that the purpose of the project as specified in the project summary is attained.
It also provides that DOST-CAR will recover the equipment or the whole value of the equipment in case the project is prematurely terminated, and facilitate the pull out of the equipment and tools if the association fails to safeguard, maintain, properly use them for the intended project or unreasonably stopped operation for six consecutive months.
Based on the data of the Municipal Agriculture Office here, 40 hectares of the total agricultural land area in the municipality are devoted to sugarcane production with a total annual production of 120 tons of fresh sugarcane.
Of the total land area, barangay Besao West has 10 hectares planted with sugarcanes and it contributes to the supply of about five tons of muscovado annually.
The BOSPA is the muscovado processor in barangay Besao West for almost eight years now. (JDP/JBS-PIA CAR, Mt. Province)
By Juliet B. Saley