DOST Regional Office No. VIII Director Ernesto M. Granada, together with the Northern Samar PSTC personnel headed by Provincial S&T Director Veronica A. Laguitan visited Catarman Complementary Food Production Center (CCFPC) at Barangay Old Rizal, Catarman, Northern Samar on September 21, 2021.
The production center is being assisted by the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) through the DOST VIII and Northern Samar PSTC, in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Catarman that provided the building to house the set of equipment. It produces mongo, rice, and sesame baby food blend ready mix and mongo rice crunchies. These products have been recently approved by the FDA (Food Drug Administration) and are said to be nutritious food for all ages; pre-school children, school children, pregnant and lactating mothers, and also recommended for senior citizens. Raw materials such as mongo, rice, and sesame are organically grown by the farmers of Catarman. Thus, helps improve and provide income to these farmers.
The CCFPC started its operation in 2013. It has been being empowered and maintained by all female workers. It produces 2,800 products every week. Although the center operates well with its current employment setup, according to the assistant manager, Ms. Gina Borilla, they are planning to hire male workers because they believe having male workers will help improve and make their production process faster.
The technology center has generated gross sales of almost eight million pesos, bagged numerous awards during its seven years of operation, and served as a catalyst in reducing the malnutrition prevalence in the municipality from 11.1% in 2014 to 1.6% in 2019. They were able to procure a miller and an extruder with the prize money they received for winning as an Outstanding Local Government Unit in Malnutrition Reduction Program Area and as an Outstanding FNRI MRP Technology Adoptor Small-Scale category during the KABALIKAT 2018. Recently, the DOST-FNRI has provided the CCFPC with an additional set of equipment comprising cereal pop machine, moisture analyzer, pulverizer, impulse sealer and air compressor to accommodate the growing demand of complementary food products in the province.