Engr. Ericson T. Nolasco, project leader and Senior Science Research Specialist of DOST-ITDI.
Engr. Ericson T. Nolasco, project leader and Senior Science Research Specialist of DOST-ITDI.

DOST unveils upgraded Davao Food Terminal Complex to combat agricultural product spoilage

To tackle the alarming rates of agricultural product spoilage in the country, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in collaboration with the Packaging Technology Division (PTD) of the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and regional partners, has inaugurated the upgraded facility of the Davao Food Terminal Complex (DFTC).

Recent studies conducted by the PTD have revealed distressing spoilage rates ranging from 20% to 70% for various agricultural products, including cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. These losses have been primarily attributed to mishandling, inadequate packaging, insufficient storage facilities, and a lack of knowledge regarding value-adding techniques for perishable goods.

In response to this pressing issue, the DOST has spearheaded the project "Upgrading the Capability of Existing Distribution Centers/Trading Posts in the Delivery of Fresh and Semi-Agricultural Products in the Supply Chain." This initiative, which falls under the ambit of DOST's Smart Food Value Chain in the New Normal Program, focuses on enhancing packaging technology and logistics.

"The upgraded facilities would enable farmers to handle and package fresh produce properly," stated Engr. Ericson T. Nolasco, project leader and Senior Science Research Specialist of DOST-ITDI. He emphasized the necessity of addressing mishandling and improper packaging practices to mitigate losses.

The upgraded facilities at DFTC, amounting to approximately P4.5 million, include essential utilities such as cold storage, a vegetable washer, a continuous band sealer, a twist sealing machine, a tray lidding machine, and an encoding machine. 

DOST Davao Regional Director, Dr. Anthony Sales, remarked that the upgraded facility at DFTC will greatly benefit the agricultural sector. 

“The upgraded facilities will help address the challenges faced by our farmers and ensure the efficient delivery of fresh produce to consumers. We look forward to the positive impact this project will have on reducing spoilage rates and enhancing the competitiveness of agricultural products in Davao." Dr. Sales added. 

This initiative aims to enhance the distribution centers and trading posts across the Philippines, with DFTC being just one of four locations included in the overarching project. PR

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