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DOST enhances arrowroot processing in the island community in Marinduque

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In the heart-shaped and smallest province in Southern Tagalog, Marinduque, lies Mongpong Island – the farthest island from the mainland Marinduque whose locals are still dependent on farming, fishing, and processing arrowroot as their primary source of living.

Arrowroot plant (Maranta Arundinacea) or colloquially called “Uraro”, is a perennial plant widely cultivated in Mongpong for its starchy rhizomes which is a good source of arrowroot flour – a primary ingredient of the sought-after delicacy and pasalubong in the province, the arrowroot cookies.

as one of the island’s major income-generating activities, the sustainable production of arrowroot cookies is a high-priority to the locals. However, even with a stable supply of raw materials, the time-consuming and labor-intensive manual processing of arrowroot limits the capacity of its farmers to produce more and meet demands at all time.

To help enhance value-adding of the island’s primary commodity, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) MIMAROPA awarded Mongpong Island with production technologies including convertible arrowroot electric grinder, washing bath, mechanical presser, and movable solar dryer that can be utilized in making arrowroot cookies.

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Since access to electricity in the island is a challenge, DOST MIMAROPA also provided Solar Energy Systems (SES) to power the convertible arrowroot grinder. The use of SES will avoid disruption of work due to absence of electricity as well as save production costs by using renewable energy instead of gasoline as its major source of power.

By: DOST MIMAROPA