Tagbilaran City – Having been equipped with food business production know-how and skills through different workshops and trainings provided by the Farmer Business School (FBS), six priority people’s organizations (POs) of Bohol went on to launch their various root and tuber crop-based food products during the Sandugo Festival Trade Fair at Island City Mall in Tagbilaran City, Bohol on July 28, 2018.
The six people’s organizations mentioned were Lundag Eskaya Tribe Multipurpose Cooperative (LETMULCO), Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa San Vicente Association (NMSVA), San Carlos Association for Rehabilitation of Environmental Denudation (SCARED), San Miguel Association Resource Team (SMART), Concepcion Livelihood Environmental Association Project (CLEAP), and Illaya Sustainable Farmers Association of Inabanga Bohol Incorporated (ISFA).
The Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Project (INREMP) tapped FBS to provide training and transfer of technology to POs, enabling them to develop small-scale enterprises from root and tuber crops. This idea developed from collaboration with the International Potato Center-Food Resilience Through Root and Tuber Crops in Upland and Coastal Communities of the Asia-Pacific (CIP-FoodSTART+).
Among the government officials and private dignitaries who graced the occasion were former Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and incumbent 3rd District of Bohol Representative Arthur Yap; Billy Tanco of the office of the governor; Senior Research Specialist Arma Bertuso of CIP; Forester Candido Salces, focal person of INREMP in Bohol; and Assistant Regional Director Eduardo Inting of DENR in Region 7. Director Nonito Tamayo of the Forest Management Bureau sent Forester Johanna San Pedro to represent him.
“Root and tuber crop products can be a commodity and [an] alternative to rice, and it [these] will help us as well to strengthen more our industry in Bohol, so I encourage you all to patronize these products,” said Congressman Yap.
The line of products included chips, flour, beverage, jam, ketchup, and candies, which were primarily made out of sweet potatoes, taro, cassava, and other root and tuber crops.
“We are so proud to be part of your journey and this event was a good opportunity to see the fruition of everyone’s labor. There is more to come – do not just stop here and don’t be afraid of doing things differently,” Forester San Pedro exclaimed. (INREMP/ Irish Viola P. Sta. Ana)