VICTORIA, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines – The Victoria Kalamansi Farmers' Federation (VKFF) conducted another round of training on calamansi processing on 16 August 2017, in preparation for the market-testing and product-launching of the calamansi juice and concentrate to be produced by the federation by October 2017. The one-day training on calamansi processing was facilitated by SEARCA's implementing partners– Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT) and the local government of Victoria. This initiative is in line with SEARCA's flagship program titled Piloting and Up-scaling Effective Models of Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD).
The training served as a refresher course or mastery exercise that is meant to equip selected farmers and members of the VKFF with the methods and procedures in processing calamansi concentrate and ready-to-drink juice. Primarily, the activity gave more priority to female farmers and housewives who showed interest in venturing into calamansi processing.
Each farmer trainee chipped in a couple of kilograms of calamansi harvested from their own farms to produce a total of 60 kilograms of fresh fruit, from which 550 bottles of ready-to-drink calamansi juice or 78 bottles of calamansi concentrate can be produced.
The activity was led by Ms. Katherine Torres, Director for Development and Ms. Arlhet Atienza, Development Aide from MinSCAT.
The Victoria pilot project titled "Revitalizing Calamansi Industry in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro through Strengthening Linkages among Farmers, LGU, NGAs, SUCs, CSOs, and the Private Sector" aims to provide sustainable income and food and nutrition security to the community through revitalizing the calamansi industry. It is one of the pilot projects under the ISARD Piloting program spearheaded by the SEARCA Research and Development Department.