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The DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) and the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) will collaborate on an initiative that hopes to develop more bamboo innovations for the agriculture sector.

The two agencies signed a Memorandum of Agreement last 7 November 2023 for the project “Bamboo LIQUOR Ph: Local Innovation for Quality Use of Organic Pesticide Resource in the Philippines”. Among others, it will study the development of organic pesticides to help increase the produce of local onion farmers.

DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan (3rd from left) and DA-BPI Director Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban (2nd from left) lead the MOA signing for a research collaboration on bamboo.

In celebration of the Philippine Bamboo Month, the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) opened its bamboo facilities to the public last 26 September 2023.

Dubbed “Lakbay Kawayan: An Appreciation Tour of Select DOST-FPRDI Bamboo Facilities”, the activity showcased two of the Institute’s newest facilities that could be availed of by bamboo-using businesses: the Bamboo Musical Instruments Processing Center and the Forest Products Innovation and Training Center (FPITC).

The event also presented some ideas on how the participants could further process bamboo into various engineered products and charcoal briquettes. Institute experts also lectured on some preservative treatment options for bamboo to make it less appetizing for bio-deteriorating agents like powder-post beetles and termites.

“This Bamboo Month, we wanted to provide MSMEs an overview on how they can use science, technology and innovation in improving their bamboo-based businesses. We hope that thru the Lakbay Kawayan, we were able to reach out to our clients and showed them many opportunities to expand their bamboo enterprises,” explained Technical Services Division Chief Maria Cielito G. Siladan.

Laguna University faculty check on the engineered bamboo display at the FPITC.

An award-winning group of soft broom makers in Real, Quezon recently received a piece of equipment that could sweep one of their biggest production problems away: a special dryer for their grass raw material.

Called the non-wood forest products dryer, this equipment was developed by the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) and installed in Brgy. Maragondon, Real, Quezon to help the broom producers dry their tiger grass (Thysanolaena latifolia) even during the rainy season. 

According to DOST-FPRDI's Maria C. Reyes, the Maragondon Dragon Grass SLP Association asked for the Institute's help in January this year as they were having problems drying their raw materials during rainy days.

The dryer was installed and commissioned in June with the guidance of the Institute's drying specialist Engr. Wency H. Carmelo.  After air-drying for two days, pollen grains from tiger grass are usually removed by shaking or brushing the stalks against tree trunks and other hard surfaces. This takes too much time and effort. Using the dryer, the pollen grains can be easily removed after drying the stalks at 90oC for 2 hours. According to Jocelyn Capablanca, association treasurer, the dryer not only helps with pollen extraction, it also ensures that their materials are not attacked by black molds.

In 2019, the 56-member-strong broom makers association received the National Sibol Award for being an outstanding beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Sustainable Livelihood Program.

(Left) DOST-FPRDI’s non-wood forest products dryer; (Right) Housewives form the majority of Brgy. Maragondon’s soft broom makers.