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Portasol solar dryers boost rice production for Sorsogon farmers’ cooperative

Thirty (30) agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) members of the Sorsogon Agro-Aquatic Development Cooperative (SAADECO) in Gimaloto, Sorsogon City will have a significant boost to its rice production with the recent donation of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of eight (8) sets of portable solar dryers worth Php292,000.

Invented by Francisco Pagayon, President of the Filipino Inventors Society Producer Cooperative (FISPC), the Portasol Dryer Technology consists of stackable sets of grain thermal drying trays. These clean, space-efficient dryers are specifically designed to reduce the moisture content of large volumes of produce, accommodating up to 150 kilos of palay per drying session.

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Nida A. Santiago expressed her gratitude to the DOST as she encouraged SAADECO to maintain and sustain the efficient use of the Portasol dryers. She said that the initiative is part of an institutional partnership agreement between the DOST and the DAR.

“The PORTASOL, provided by the DOST, allows the farmers to dry their grains easier and faster even during overcast days common during the country's rainy season,” Santiago said.

“The SAADECO is just one of the farmers’ groups that we assist to get equipment like these from other government agencies. We extend assistance through programs and projects that help each of our clients and stakeholders,” added Santiago.

Floribe Macapagal, Chairman of SAADECO, expressed her gratitude for the support and committed to maximize the Portasol dryers’ use.

"This is a great help to us because we can dry our rice faster. We thank the government for providing us with these multipurpose solar drying trays,” Macapagal stated.

The DOST highlighted the advantages of the Portasol system, noting that it offers a safer and more efficient alternative to traditional open-air drying methods, reducing drying time by two-thirds. This technology is crucial in mitigating post-harvest losses and ensuring a higher quality of dried produce.

Following the turnover, ARBs participated in a demonstration on how to use the Portasol system, ensuring they were well-equipped to