Fresh and processed oyster mushroom for COVID-19-affected communities has already been distributed to the Ilocos Region. Nutritious and immune system-boosting oyster mushrooms are rich in protein and essential amino acids, low in fat, high in fiber. Target recipients of about two tons of oyster mushrooms are at least 10 municipalities in Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan.
This initiative is possible through a project implemented by Ms. Maritess Raboy of the the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) and funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
“This initiative will help mushroom growers and at the same time provide food to indigent families as well as frontline hospitals,” said Noel A. Catibog, Officer-in-Charge of the Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) of PCAARRD. The project titled, “Science-based Assistance in Response to COVID-19 Crisis through Distribution of Oyster Mushroom to Affected Communities and Frontline Hospitals” started on April 14 and will conclude on June 13, 2020.
The municipalities that will benefit from this initiative are Vigan City, Alilem, Sta. Catalina, Sta. Maria, and Suyo in Ilocos Sur; Binmaley, Anda, and Alaminos in Pangasinan, and Aringay in La Union. The project will purchase the products of mushroom growers and in turn, distribute these to the nearest local government units (LGUs). LGUs will be in charge of distributing the fresh and processed mushroom products to indigent families and frontline hospitals in the mentioned municipalities.
This initiative is an offshoot of the recently completed project, “Science and Technology Community-Based Farm on Oyster Mushroom Production as an Alternative Source of Livelihood in Disaster Vulnerable Areas in Region 1.” The project empowered mushroom growers in Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, and La Union through trainings, distribution of mushroom production starter kits, and were assisted in the processing and marketing of their oyster mushroom fruits.
PCAARRD is one of the sectoral councils of the DOST, which is mandated to formulate policies, plans, and programs for science and technology-based R&D in the different sectors under its concern. It coordinates, evaluates, and monitors the national R&D efforts in the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR) sector. It also allocates government and external funds for R&D and generates resources to support its program (Diana Rose P. Cabello, Rose Anne M. Aya, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services).