The Cebu Technological University Barili Campus Research and Development and Center for Studies in Biotechnology both led by Dr. Marjohn Niño initiated a project titled “From Backliners to Frontliners: Help a Farmer to Help Frontliners” conducted from May to June 2020 to manufacture nutritious and naturally processed food for the Department of Health, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and Local Government Unit frontliners and provide a stable market to small scale farmers in Barili, Cebu.
This project was approved by Dr. Rosein Ancheta Jr., CTU President on March 23, 2020 and received a grant from the Commission of Higher Education (CHED).
In addition, the team conducted this project in collaboration with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) and the Municipal Agriculture Office of Barili.
To reassure the quality and safety in manufacturing the food products, Dr. Niño hired Ms. Joanna Christine Salinasal, a BS Food Technology graduate as quality controller in the said project.
As shown in the research proposal of the Barili Campus RD team, “For the first two weeks of enhanced community quarantine, Cebu Technological University – Barili Campus have been packaging and processing fruits and vegetables food products within its farm (like Vitahore wellness drink, banana chips, tamarind juice) for the frontliners of its service municipality”.
On the contrary, when the farm produce of Barili campus became scarce, farmers of Barangays, Pang-pang, Balao, and Dakit had hard time selling their products because of the enhanced community quarantine. The team decided to come up with this research project to tap the LGU in buying the produce of the farmers to provide local farmers in the barangay to have stable income and assure them market of agricultural products.
The farmers’ produce were ampalaya, banana, coconut, pepper, and tomato which were bought and used by the team in this research project. These agricultural products were then processed and served to the frontliners of the municipality of Barili. –rmmm/ccmr