ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal, Oct 17 (PIA) — The Cardona municipal government, Sangguniang Bayan, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Science and Technology Rizal provincial offices are focusing on water hyacinth products as a possible means of income generation for locals. But this will first require dryers to fully take off.
Mechanical dryers assembled by the DOST cost up to P 400,000 each.
However, the LGU is currently working on ways to obtain a lower-priced machine by seeking assistance from the Forest Products Research and Development Institute and requesting a machine from the Laguna Lake Development Authority.
The local PESO has also submitted a request to the Laguna Lake Development Authority, requesting for an additional drying machine.
PESO said a number of local associations currently processing hyacinth products are already receiving orders from overseas such as Germany.
Cardona PESO staff Maribeth Felix said the convergence of government agencies and local government aim to give locals a source of income through the use of native materials such as water hyacinths abundant in Laguna Lake.
Initial seminars on water hyacinth processing started May this year, while DTI – Rizal conducted a skills upgrading training also on water hyacinth products last September 27 to 29.
Water hyacinth processing targets locals with no source of income as well as some associations such as the Looc Livelihood Association.
In terms of quality, sun dried and machine dried products have no glaring differences.
However, sun drying especially during the rainy season is highly inefficient and time consuming due to the weather. Machine drying makes drying faster without relying on sunny weather but requires fuel composed of wood waste and other biomass to function. (GG-PIA4A)