Up in the mountain ranges of Impasugong, Bukidnon, rice farming is a challenge. Farmers deal with rainy weather all throughout the year, making grain drying a difficult task. To ease their problem, nongovernment organizations Kaanib Foundation, Inc. and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) worked with the Asian Development Bank-funded IRRI Postharvest Project and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and helped install a reversible airflow flatbed dryer for the community.
On 20 June 2012, a turnover ceremony was held in Kalabugao Village and was attended by local government representatives, CRS program manager Terry Tuason, and marketing project coordinator, Lionel Mendoza, PhilRice engineer Dexter Ona, Kaanib Foundation director Imelda Esteban, and IRRI communication specialist Trina Mendoza.
The construction of the facility was completed in May and is now ready for use in time for the June-July rice harvest season in the uplands of Bukidnon. Engineer Ona demonstrated the operation of the dryer, and trained some members of the community on the operation and maintenance of the dryer.
“With the installation of the dryer, the quality of their rice will increase, and they can therefore ask for a higher price in the market,” says Anthony Hendrix, municipal agro-enterprise facilitator of Kaanib.
IRRI funded the manufacturing cost of the dryer blower and assisted CRS and their local NGO partner in establishing a new business model using a business plan for the dryer. This assistance was provided by the ADB-funded IRRI Postharvest Project that brings multistakeholder partners for introducing improved technologies and business models for reduced postharvest losses and increased farmers’ income.