In an effort to bolster the agricultural activities of farmers in Albay, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have teamed up to distribute portable solar dryers to three farmers’ cooperatives in the region.

These portable dryers, known as Portasol dryers, aim to simplify and accelerate the grain drying process for farmers belonging to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs). Patricia Rastrullo, DAR-Albay Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer, highlighted that this initiative aligns with the goal of Secretary Conrado Estrella III to enhance the livelihoods of farmers and ARBs nationwide through collaboration with various government agencies.

The Portasol dryers are versatile and efficient, designed to reduce moisture content in large quantities of produce. With a capacity of 150 kilos of palay per drying cycle, these dryers enable farmers to dry their grains swiftly, even during overcast days. This method proves superior to traditional pavement drying, which not only wastes time but also poses safety hazards by obstructing roads.

Senestorio M. Apuli, President of SLUB Linksfarm Farmers Association, expressed gratitude for the government’s support, recognizing the significance of this technological advancement in local agriculture. The distribution of 14 units of Portasol dryers to three cooperatives marks a crucial step forward in fostering innovation within the agricultural sector.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed between DAR, DOST, and the local government unit of Legazpi, the initiative receives funding of ₱511,000.00 from DOST for the acquisition of Sun Drying Trays. DAR will provide logistical support and training for cooperative members, while the LGU-Legazpi will collaborate with cooperatives to develop operating policies and guidelines for the use of Portasol dryers.

This distribution of portable drying equipment is part of DOST’s Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program, which aims to enhance the standard of living in rural areas by supporting initiatives that integrate science and technology into local practices.