Extra income for Batac farmers

BATAC CITY, June 11 — Farmers in the village of Maipalig have began producing mango-based products like puree, vinegar, wine, and dried mangoes, following the operation of a mango processing plant last year, which provided them with extra income.

Assisted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the processing plant made use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and alternating current to process more than 196 kilograms of mangoes to dried mangoes.

Aurelia Ulit, manager of the Association of Mango Growers in the village, said more products could have been processed but inclement weather during the previous months destroyed the mango flowers which would have become mango fruits.

Ulit said the processing plant gave farmers an alternative livelihood on top of their income from rice farming.

Farmers also recognized DOLE’s technical assistance and expertise, which they utilized during the early stages of plant operation.

“We are now maximizing to the fullest the processing of mangoes produced in the area with the installation of this mango processing plant,” Ulit said.

She said mango growers have found a good market locally but they are eyeing the export market with the support of the government’s marketing programs.

Other agencies that provided support to the plant’s operation include the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, the local government Unit of Batac City, and other non-government organizations. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)