Local crafts in Laguna just got better with new looks and better quality through technology intervention by the Department of Science and Technology Region IV-A office.

First, technology enabled a locally known wellness and beauty store to repackage its product line. Sherill Quintana of Kutitap Aromatherapy Crafts assisted by Engr. Samuel L. Caperiña, provincial S&T Director of Laguna, gave a new look to her ORYSPA-Rice Bran Products by availing of DOST’s Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), a package of technology intervention to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Through SETUP, Quintana was able to acquire a band sealer, bar coding equipment, and inventory control system.

Kutitap has been producing wellness-body products for quite some time now. Previously, hand-crafted boxes were used in wrapping Kutitap products. Now, production became faster, the quality improved, and the looks enhanced by using the machines.

Similarly, Rolando Bagabaldo of Bagabaldo's Handicrafts availed of DOST-SETUP in the fabrication and installation of a low cost kiln dryer. The kiln has a drying capacity of 25 pieces of various hand-crafted products per day, greatly improving the company’s production.

In addition, the unit effectively dries products up to a moisture content of 8-10 percent. This rate assures the non-regrowth of mildew typically found in products stored in damp or poorly ventilated areas. Mold, aside from being unsightly, can cause allergies and health concerns among susceptible workers. Thus, the kiln dryer did not only improve the production side but also addressed the health concerns of workers.

Meanwhile, in Antipolo City in Rizal Province, Fernando E. Ablaza, S&T Director, assisted Grace Galisano of the Antipolo Pasalubong Center Vendors Consumers Cooperative (APCVCC) in improving the company’s packaging and label design for cashew products. They also worked together to improve food safety and quality of products through the conduct of nutrition facts analysis and training on Basic Food Hygiene and Good Manufacturing Practices to cooperative members on.

DOST is also looking at providing a training module for cashew producers, vendors and city health personnel, and continuing the conduct of regular microbial analysis, nutritional analysis, and shelf-life testing of cashew products.

SETUP and other DOST programs to help businesses in the countryside, especially SMEs, will be highlighted during the National Science and Technology Week, also known as ExpoScience2013, the biggest annual S&T event in the country. A venue to showcase the best products and services in the local science community, the NSTW will be held July 23-27 at the SMX Hall at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

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