FPRDI, DA-BAR help CamNorte pili processors
February 26, 2016

Members of the CNPGPA learn how to make handicraft items from the pili shell.

Members of the Camarines Norte Pili Growers and Processors Association (CNPGPA) learn how to make handicraft items from the pili shell (above) and extract oil from the pili nut (below) in seminar workshops held last year.

Members of the CNPGPA learn how to extract oil from the pili nut.

The training courses were part of the project “Technology transfer on community-based pili nut and pili by-products processing and marketing in Camarines Norte” which focused on optimizing the use of pili resources in the province by developing, enhancing and promoting techno packages on pili by-products from kernels, pulp, shells and resins.

According to project staff Florena Samiano, seven seminar workshops serving 168 attendees were held last year. Topics covered were - extracting oil from pili kernel and pulp; making confectioneries from pili kernel; charcoal briquetting and crafts production from pili shell; marketing, packaging and labelling of pili by-products; and sustainable tapping of pili resin. After attending the training on resin tapping, participants themselves trained tappers in other towns.

The project likewise donated to the CNPGPA a set of drum kiln and charcoal briquetting machine now being used province wide; and two sets of pili de-pulper, oil extractor and oil filtering machines. The local government of Paracale town, on the other hand, provided a hack saw and bench drill to the town’s Rural Improvement Club (RIC), which is a member of the cooperative.

The CNPGPA was also linked to an established pili resin exporter who committed to buy all the coop’s resin harvest for a competitive price.

Explains Project Leader For. Arsenio B. Ella, Scientist III, “Candies and pastries are the usual products which make use of the pili nut. The nut, however, is 68% pulp, 25% shell, and 7% kernel – and due to unfamiliarity with information among processors, a lot of it normally goes to waste. The pili pulp oil, for instance, is a promising material for the food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries. It has chemicals that can help prevent pimples, making it an ideal ingredient for bath soaps as well as massage oil.”

Pili trees thrive in the Bicol Region, with products reaching Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany and the U.S. At present, more than 10,500 productive trees grow in Camarines Norte alone.

The project was financed by the Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Research and supported by the local government of Camarines Norte, and the provincial offices of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, and the Camarines Norte State College. (Rizalina K. Araral, 15 February 2016)