As the water hyacinth population burgeoned in Buhi, Camarines Sur, Engr. Joel P. Sadol of the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture pondered on how he could turn this threat into an opportunity.  Water hyacinths often clog waterways and degrade water quality. These pretty-looking pests actually  block sunlight and prevent photosynthesis, thereby lowering the level of oxygen in the water.

First in his agenda was to get rid of the hyacinths, and then perhaps turn them into something useful.  So he made a machine that can collect the hyacinths, and then recently improved its features to make the machine more efficient using less fuel.

The improved water hyacinth harvester  is set to benefit farmers, fisherfolks, and handicraft makers in his hometown, through the assistance of Department of Science and Technology-Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI).

Under DOST-TAPI’s Technology Based Enterprise Development (TBED) Program, Engr. Sadol  received a grant amounting to P247,000.

Aside from managing water hyacinths which are a perennial threat in Lake Buhi, the harvester provides opportunities for livelihood as well. Harvested water hyacinth can be made into baskets, matting, fertilizers, handicraft, and other products, said Engr. Sadol whose earlier model was funded by DOST through the Philippine Council for Industry Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development.

DOST-TAPI’s TBED program encourages the development of new or improved technologies that may have potential for commercialization.  Research and development institutes, state universities and colleges, and government offices are qualified to avail of this assistance.

For more information about TBED, you may contact the Provincial Science and Technology Center or DOST Regional Office in your area.  (S&T Media Service)

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