The Department of Science and Technology – Regional Office No. IX (DOST-IX), through its Provincial Science and Technology Office of Zamboanga Sibugay (PSTO-ZSP), turned over funding assistance to A5 Food Products amounting to One Million One Hundred Thirty-Five Thousand Pesos (₱1,135,000.00) for the acquisition of a one-line calamansi juice processing facility.
The A5 Food Products, which produces ready-to-drink and concentrated calamansi products, received 1st tranche of the assistance amounting to ₱567,500 on 13 April 2023. The initial funds will be utilized for the procurement of calamansi processing equipment, expected to help improve product quality, increase the firm’s productivity, and generate additional employment opportunities for the local community. The funding assistance is covered under the agency’s flagship program, the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), which intends to provide innovation system support and science and technology (S&T) interventions to micro-, small-, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) to boost their competitiveness and overall production capabilities.
Before providing the firm with the assistance, The DOST-IX conducts a Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) relative to the firm’s various operations – managerial, technical, financial, and the like – in order to determine the proper interventions, particularly the relevant technologies as a means of upgrading. With the new processing technology, the calamansi processor is expected to improve the quality of their products – increased shelf life, reduced production costs, and increased production capacity, among others.
Ms. Maribel A. Azuga, the project cooperator and proprietor of A5 Food Products, expressed her gratitude for the assistance provided by DOST-IX. She said that the funding will greatly help their business and enable them to produce higher quality calamansi juice to meet the increasing demand in the market.
"The new technology will help us to produce more calamansi juice while maintaining its quality. We are now excited to see our business grow and provide more job opportunities for the people in our community," Ms. Azuga said.
The DOST-IX is committed to supporting SMEs in the region and encouraging them to adopt new technologies that can improve their productivity and competitiveness. Through the SETUP program, the department hopes to contribute to the economic development in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
For more information, please contact the DOST-IX Provincial Science and Technology Office in Zamboanga Sibugay Province at (062) 955-0825 or 09178494214. And to be updated on the latest happenings, please follow our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DOSTRegion9 (JOHN KEN Y. ESMAS, DOST-IX Press Release).