THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Davao expressed full support for small-medium enterprises (SMEs), offering common-use equipment for product processing and production.
During Kapehan sa Dabaw Monday, December 12 at SM Ecoland Annex, DOST-Davao Assistant Regional Director Elsie Mae Solidum said that in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), they have a program to help the small-scale businesses to be globally competitive using greener and more environmental-friendly means of food production.
Solidum also said the SMEs need assistance in terms of food safety concerns, energy audit and equipment use.
DOST-Davao partnered with Davao Food Safety Team and the Davao Region Energy Audit and Management team to create solution for these concerns.
Solidum said the DOST realizes that certain small-scale businesses are hesitant to invest on expensive equipment especially those that are just starting up.
As a solution, a collaboration with DOST, DTI and DA was made for the implementation of Food Processor Innovation Center. The center is available at the Philippine Women’s College (PWC).
Any small-scale businesses who wish to avail of the food processing equipment funded by the government can go to PWC to signify intent of equipment use.
Solidum also added that although use of the equipment is not completely free, the prices are adjusted depending on a consumed time bracket.
Using these machines, food processing is more mechanized and it would take lesser time for the production to finish. Also because mostly the effort is of the machines, there would be less exposure to human hands.
Solidum believes it is a way to make the products more hygienic and sanitary. Since there would be less effort and human labor, businesses who would use the equipment available for an affordable price at PWC will find it more profitable because there would be less monetary investment.
For 2016, less than P40 million was budgeted for acquisition of equipment for the whole of Davao Region.
For next year, Solidum was positive that the budget intended for this project is much more than this year.
DOST also realizes that with these emergence of new technology to help make the farmer’s life easier, the machines also affect the job availabilities in these areas. These machines may replace labor and workforce.
Solidum pointed out that this is a natural consequence of the development. The country should gradually shift from agricultural to industrial as well.
Solidum said DOST will not be stopped by displacement of labor to develop more technologies to help ease workload of farmers and businesses.