By Oliver T. Baccay
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Sept 28 (PIA) - - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) region 2 has already inked agreement with the Local Government Units of Cagayan and Isabela for the production of ready-to-eat food packs that can be distributed to families affected by calamities and emergencies.
The project dubbed as Commercialization of Disaster and Emergency Food Packs for Sustainable Assistance to the Food Enterprise (CODESAFE) was launched formally virtually, witnessed by Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena and other key officials.
Regional Director Sancho Mabborang said the project is part of the food innovation program of the department which is aimed at developing nutritious food packs, either meals or snacks, for emergencies.
"This project also aims to process into relief packs the locally produced raw materials that are abundant in the two provinces like corn and legumes," Mabborang said.
Dr. Anabelle Briones, executive director of the Industrial Technology Development Institute, said the project is very timely in this times of pandemic and other emergency situations as the first emergency response right after a calamity is providing foods to survivors.
She said they have already developed a ready-to-eat chicken arrozcaldo which have already undertaken field testing and validation studies but she expressed her full support to the innovations of DOST region 2 for coming up with additional ready-to-eat food packs that can benefit not only people of Cagayan and Isabela but other provinces as well.
Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, on his part, lauded the project CODESAFE which he believes to address not only food sufficiency during calamities but also reduce over supply of food materials, especially in the agricultural sector.
"This will also benefit the micro-small-medium enterprises as well as create more jobs which we need to increase employment rate aside from securing nutrition of the people," Dela Peña said.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba and Isabela Governor Rodito Albano both expressed gratitude to the DOST for initiating the project.
The two provinces have also received P4 million each as a start-up fund for the establishment of their respective for innovation processing center.
They also vowed to give their respective counterparts to ensure the realization of the project. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)