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HomeThe RegionNorthern MindanaoKalabasa saves the day! – A Pancit story in S&T

Kalabasa saves the day! – A Pancit story in S&T

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon — Kalabasa or squash is an abundant harvest in Cabanglasan, a third class municipality in the province of Bukidnon. Year after year, this pumpkin-looking low-maintenance vegetable dominates the harvest in the municipality. Unfortunately, tons of Kalabasa gets wasted as oversupply and low prices hit the market in the early 2000s. Bargain within the farmers was inevitable; further, bargaining led them to face deficits and loan sharks to meet both ends. The cycle continued until early 2015.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Bukidnon was able to aid this despairing cycle through working with the Cabanglasan Special Program on Employment of Students and Parents Association (CSESPA).

CSESPA is composed of two groups: (1) an association of working students during summer under the supervision of the Department of Labor and Employment and (2) an association of parents who aim to have a livelihood.

DOST-X, through its Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program for conflict and geographically-isolated areas, provided a set of food-grade equipment to capacitate the beneficiaries in establishing their GMP-compliant food processing facility where all members are allowed to process their own Binangkal and Pancit Canton. The said products are both best sellers in the area. The food-grade equipment units were noodle maker, noodle cutter, stainless steel mixer, and deep fryer. The Local Government Unit (LGU) provided the building.

DOST-X also conducted a capability training to ensure that all active members are well-trained in the technicalities of running their facility. The agency also trained the beneficiaries on perfecting their banner product, the Squash-Based Pancit Canton. The CSESPA’s pancit canton is different from ordinary noodles because it is mixed with Kalabasa as an additional nutritional value for the body.

Kalabasa is scientifically proven to be high in vitamins A, B6 and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, and potassium. No wonder it is considered a serious nutritional power-packed veggie. Kalabasa is also rich in manganese which helps boost bone strength and helps the body’s ability to process fats and carbohydrates. It also adds flavor to the palate.

In addition to the equipment and training provided for free, DOST-X is also currently improving the products’ packaging and label.

To help the beneficiaries market their products and at the same time help IP families in Bukidnon, DOST-X purchased 1,000 packs worth Php 40,000.00 of Squash-Based Pancit Canton as relief goods to the 70 families of Talaandig Tribal Community in barangay Sungco, Lantapan, Bukidnon.

CSESPA President Mr. Dominador A. Balasabas, Jr., expressed his gratitude to DOST-X and Cabanglasan LGU for supporting the association pave the way to earn a living. As of today, CSESPA is regularly supplying the demand within Cabanglasan and its neighboring barangays.

Still, our farmers remain as our modern-day heroes even in the current pandemic that we are going through. Though times are hard, they continue to produce fruits and vegetables that many consume without the worry of bargaining good health and nutrition. These groups of parents in Cabanglasan merged agriculture with innovation and produced a healthy, budget-friendly food product. (DOST-10/PIA Bukidnon)

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