The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) presented its solar-powered fish dryer for small fishermen within the Taal Lake Protected Area, during its regional office’s 52nd anniversary celebration at the Taal Lake Conservation Center in Mataasnakahoy, Batangas last November 20, 2015.

Powered by eight solar panels and with a cabinet and tray made of stainless steel, the dryer is capable of drying 20 kilos of fish in six hours. It can accommodate “tawilis” and “biya” in particular from Batangas Province’s lake. “Biya” specifically can be dried in just three hours. “Biya” is a staple food in the Taal Lake Protected Landscape which straddles Batangas and portion of Cavite Province.

The fish dryer is expected to improve product quality and production process, thus generating better livelihood opportunities for small fishermen.

The Kilusan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda sa Lawa ng Taal Mataasnakahoy chapter with 700 members, is the project beneficiary. The organization’s Balete chapter is also a future beneficiary.

The project is a collaboration between DOST IV-A, Batangas State University whose mechanical engineering department designed the fish dryer, the local government unit of Mataasnakahoy, Pusod Inc., and Seacology Philippines – a non-profit environmental conservation organization.

DOST IV-A will also provide training on Good Manufacturing Practices, packaging, labelling, and others.

Project proponents plan to make the dryer widely available in coastal communities.

The idea to develop a solar-powered fish dryer came about in the aftermath of typhoon Glenda in 2014 when small fishermen within the volcano and lakeshore areas encountered problems in drying their catch, thus adversely affecting supply and livelihood.

The solar-powered fish dryer, powered by eight solar panels and made of stainless steel. It is capable of drying 20 kilos of fish in six hours.

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