SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija — The Central Luzon State University (CLSU) here is in search of capable fabricators of two agricultural machines it has developed — a mechanical carrot washer-cum-sorter, and a potato digger.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) earlier said the “commercialization of both machines will benefit machine fabricators, farmers and traders.”
DOST’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) Executive Director Reynaldo Ebora said CLSU wants “possible partner machine fabricators who will be willing to commercialize or mass-produce the machines for sale to interested users like traders and farmers.”
Ebora said PCAARRD has monitored the development and pre-commercialization of the two machine projects, including their design, fabrication, and testing of their improved prototypes.
He said it took CLSU team 30 months to complete the two projects, longer than the original target of only one year, and the pandemic also hampered their completion.
Ebora said the potato digger was validated and optimized under various field conditions. The machine is a self-propelled gas-powered equipment designed for small scale farms. It digs and sieves potatoes from single-bed plots, reducing the farmers’ drudgery during harvesting,” he said.
This would address the problem of the farmers manually digging potato tubers during harvest, he added.
Ebora said both the mechanical carrot washer-cum-sorter, and a potato digger passed the tests conducted by the Agricultural Machinery and Testing Center (AMTEC).
The two projects were also supported by the Technology Innovation for Commercialization (TECHNICOM), one of DOST’s flagship programs with the Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) as the lead coordinating agency.
The program aims to facilitate and fast track the transfer and commercialization of locally-developed innovations and technologies through financial and technical support.
State universities or colleges, research and development institutes, and startups incubated by the DOST-assisted technology business incubators, are welcome to apply for the TECHNICOM.
TAPI director Edgar Garcia said financial support was given to the two projects for the improvement of the prototypes, field test through AMTEC, among others.
Over P2.9 million was provided for the carrot washer project, while P2.4 million was given for the development of the potato digger, Garcia added. The funds were used for the aesthetic design improvement, machine fabrication, testing, cost and return analysis, valuation, and freedom to operate reports. Ebora explained.