In line with the DOST?s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP), the Department of Science and Technology Regional Office No. IX (DOST-IX), in coordination with the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), is organizing a Training on Seaweeds Processing. The training will be held in two (2) events: 1) Zamboanga City - May 11 to 12, 2009 at the DOST IX Conference Room; and 2) Dipolog City ? May 14 to 15, 2009 at the Ranillo Function Room ?Bamboo Garden?.
The training is intended for the seaweeds farmers, traders, and/or processors based in Zamboanga City and the municipalities of Rizal and Jose Dalman, Zamboanga del Norte. The training will cover the following topics : 1) General background on seaweeds; overview of production methods; technical aspects; and uses and application of carrageenan; 2) Demonstration on the preparation of alkali solution and bleaching solution; bleaching of seaweeds; alkali treatment of seaweeds (semi-refined carrageenan production); extraction and filtration of carrageenan; and recovery of refined carrageenan; and 3) Demonstration/hands-on on grinding and drying of semi-refined / refined carrageenan; and production of air-freshener and dessert jellies.
Seaweeds processing is one of priority technology trainings identified by DOST-IX this year in support to the seaweeds industry. The Philippines is the world?s leading producer of carrageenan, which has varied uses in food, pharmaceutical and cosmic industries. In 2006, the country produced approximately 1.34 million metric tons (MT) of fresh seaweeds, mostly Kappaphycus, worth P 6.04 billion, at current prices (Source: Gem).
Mindanao ? led by the ARMM and the Zamboanga Peninsula ? remains the country?s major Kappaphycus producer, contributing 55% of total harvest in 2005, according to the Department of Agriculture?s Bureau of Agricultural Statistic (BAS).
In Zamboanga City alone, there are about 5,520 farmers cultivating seaweeds, 3 processors, 14 exporters and numerous traders.
Although the country was able to take hold of a significant portion of the market, the industry is still wanting of improvements. Hence, the need to conduct the said training is vital. (DOST-9 PRESS RELEASE)