MAMBAJAO, CAMIGUIN – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Camiguin has recently turned over 50 units of multi-purpose solar dryer (PORTASOL) to the Provincial Governor’s Office under the leadership of Governor Xavier Jesus D. Romualdo of Camiguin. These portasol will be distributed to thirty-eight (38) local farmers, food processors, and partnered academe in the province.
With the use of PORTASOL, they can now dry their grains and other products like fish, squid, and fruits much easier and faster. These commodities can further be dried even during overcast days that are common during the country’s rainy season. Utilization of portasol can ensure product quality, food hygiene and safety while minimizing production cost.
The trays are made of aluminum which is a good conductor of heat, a critical factor in drying grains. Through the use of Portasol, drying is achieved 50-75% faster. A unit of portasol has 12 trays which can load at least ¼ cavan or approximately 12-13 kilogram of palay, fish and fruits per tray.
Traditionally, farmers and food processors dry rice grains, fish and fruits on the road and pavements thereby incurring post-harvest losses and contaminations. As a solution to that, Filipino inventor Francisco Pagayon of the Filipino Inventors Society Inc. invented PORTASOL, a multipurpose solar dryer that is stackable, clean, and space-efficient and is specifically designed to reduce the moisture content of large volumes of produce.
The project is implemented under the CEST or Community Empowerment through Science and Technology program of the DOST with a total funding assistance of 1.825 Million. (Nice Nerjay Callo/DOST Camiguin)