The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Representative Jonathan Keith Flores of the 2nd Congressional District of Bukidnon ink a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for a project on pineapple fiber extraction in Lantapan, Bukidnon. This collaborative project is envisioned to help minimize the waste management costs of the local growers, process quality pineapple fiber, generate employment, and create opportunity for additional income to the beneficiaries.
The Pineapple Fiber Extraction project is a result of technology needs assessment conducted by DOST Bukidnon with a community in Lantapan. This led to the collaboration of establishing a dedicated facility equipped with specialized machinery. The project involves the processing of 45 tons of pineapple waste. This waste primarily consists of pineapple leaves that are typically discarded after the fruit is harvested. Instead of being treated as waste, the project aims to extract valuable fibers from these pineapple leaves.
The project’s target beneficiaries are the sixty-one (61) livelihood members of the cooperative and local pineapple growers in Lantapan, Bukidnon. These individuals will directly benefit from the initiatives and activities of the project, particularly in terms of income generation.
The extracted fibers may be used in various purposes, such as but not limited to textiles, handicrafts, furnishings, accessories, and eco-friendly packaging materials.
DOST through its Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program has allocated funding to mobilize capacity building activities and acquire equipment such as a multi fiber decorticating machine, fiber brusher/spindle machine, and hydraulic presser to extract pineapple fiber. Aside from the provision of technology, DOST will also provide training for fiber extraction, equipment utilization, and maintenance for standard implementation of the extraction process, ensuring that the fibers extracted are of consistent quality.
The MOA signing was conducted in Malaybalay City on May 2, 2023. During the MOA signing, congressman Flores expressed his thanks to DOST for the science and technology-based interventions. “Atong pagpasalamat sa coordination with DOST kay sila pud ang nag step up nga nag provide ani na makina. I hope na kaning inyung grupo, mao lang ang sugod sa atong mga beneficiaries na matagaan ug access to this type of projects in partnership with the DOST para makita pud sa uban unsa ka successful ang inyung gibuhat hinaot unta ma replicate pud para mas daghan pa na komunidad ang magbenefit ani na programa”, he said. He emphasized that it’s important for this project to be successful so it can be replicated to other parts of the province and thus give benefits to more people.
Also present during the event are the target beneficiaries, Lantapan pineapple growers, DOST Bukidnon Provincial Director Ritchie Mae L. Guno, and the legislative staff of the Bukidnon Satellite Office of Congressman Flores.
This project promotes innovation in the utilization of natural and renewable resources. It aligns with the DOST’s broader goals and CEST Program’s objective in achieving environmental conservation, promoting sustainable development, and addressing the challenges posed by climate change. (Goldy Cordero/DOST 10)