SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - GrainPro Inc., an American company that manufactures grain storage and drying systems here, recently launched its patented Solar Bubble Dryer (SBD) that provides a solution to challenges faced by farmers throughout the world.
The SBD is a collapsible drying facility for such commodities as coffee, cocoa, rice, wheat, corn, millet, and beans; and can hold up to one metric ton in one drying cycle while protecting commodities from rain and ultraviolet (UV) rays.
According to Dr. Pat Borlagdan, the firm's manager for research and development, the drying facility is made from durable materials. Its transparent polyethylene cover is UV-resistant and water repellent, while its drying floor is made of sturdy plastic materials to ensure that water does not penetrate from below in case of heavy rains.
Borlagdan stressed that the SBD is a technology developed with food security as its ultimate goal.
"As such, it will help address inadequate agri-based technologies in order to help farmers ensure higher crop yield, thereby ultimately translating to higher food production and enough food supply for the Filipinos," Borlagdan said.
He also said that a recent study showed that around 12 per cent of prime agricultural commodities are lost during the post-harvest drying process due to unpredictable weather conditions and lack of drying facilities.
The SBD will help farming communities in their critical post-harvest process because it dries grains and seeds to the right moisture safely and efficiently under any weather condition, keeping it from infestation and fungus, he added.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia said the drying facility is "proudly Subic-made," pointing out that the firm's products are principally manufactured at its wholly-owned subsidiary here, the GrainPro Philippines Inc.
Garcia added that the Subic-made drying system will be a big boost to local farmers and farm producers.
"Here in the surrounding communities, we often see farmers drying their grain products on the roadside and a lot of these go to waste. The Solar Bubble Dryer can boost the productivity of these farmers, as well as our national food stock," Garcia said.
GrainPro's development of the SBD was in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Germany's Hohenheim University. (30)