In line with the department’s thrust to support the major strategy of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) which is to improve food security and increase income, DAR Cam. Sur II PBD headed by OIC-PARPO Maria Gracia Sales accessed through the Department of Agriculture a Flatbed Dryer with a 40-bag capacity, a 420 sq. m solar dryer and a palay shed of 32 sq. m for the Ayugan-San Antonio Agrarian Reform Cooperative of Ocampo, Camarines Sur.
The FBs need for it was quite important as the unpredictable weather which now besets the country affects the quality of grains being demanded by markets. Also there is an increase in harvest and if all the fbs dry at the same time, the multi-purpose dryer cannot accommodate the grains. More often than not, the grains germinate before it could be even dried.
Sun drying was the common practice, but it cannot dry at night, during overcast days and on unpredictable weather. Sun drying is also labor intensive and challenging. Grains may crack. Sun dried rice may also be contaminated by dirt and stone and can be infested by fungi which can produce poisonous substances such as mycotoxin.
Delayed, incomplete and ineffective drying leads to the deterioration of grain seeds which affects quality. The wetter the grain, the faster the loss of quality. Ideally, grains should be dried within 24 hours after harvest.
Hence, the need for these dryers as an imperative post harvest facility for end users and consumers can not be ignored. (Carla Yu)