In its effort to promote wider adoption of the recommended technologies for jackfruit and strengthen rural-based organizations/cluster of jackfruit farmers to improve their marketing power, the Visayas State University (VSU) has identified two private entrepreneurs in Leyte to avail of jackfruit technology (vacuum fried and dehydrated jackruit) for commercialization.

The vacuum fried and dehydrated jackfruit products were developed by Dr. Lemuel M. Diamante, then faculty member of VSU’s Department of Food Science and Technology (DFST) who is now connected with Lincoln University in New Zealand as Food Engineer, from his research on “Development of Processing Techniques for Jackfruit in Eastern Visayas” funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research in 1997-1998.

The Memorandum of Agreement on Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Jackfruit Products in Leyte through TechnoMart was signed on September 30, 2013 at the PhilRootcrops Training Hall. The MOA signatories were Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, VSU President and ViCARP-RRDEN Chairperson, who represented the Visayas State University as the principal author of the development of the Vacuum Fried and Dehydrated Jackfruit Technology; the Baybay City Local Government Unit represented by its City Mayor, Hon. Carmen L. Cari; and the private entrepreneurs—the Baybay City Vacuum Fried Jackfruit Processors represented by Mrs. Martha Y. Villalino, and the Green Meadows Dehydrated Jackfruit Processor represented by Mr. Job D. Abuyabor. Other signatories of the MOA were Dr. Othello B. Capuno, VSU’s VP for Research and Extension and ViCARP Director, and Mrs. Elena P. Sidiqui, Baybay City Agriculturist, as witnesses.

The MOA entitles the two private entrepreneurs located in Baybay City and Mahaplag, Leyte to engage and utilize the technology into processing of vacuum fried and dehydrated jackfruit, respectively. They will also undergo an intensive training of the technology which will be conducted by VSU through its faculty members in the Department of Food Science and Technology (DFST).

However, as stipulated in the MOA, the entrepreneurs have other obligations such as: payments for the toll of the processing facilities and royalty fees for the use of the technology, fully utilize the vacuum fryer and dehydrating machine during the period agreed, shoulder the repair and maintenance expenses of the vacuum fryer and dehydrating machine while in use and maintain in top condition, provide VSU the access of the records and processing area while inside the Pilot Plant, and attend periodic review of the project.

Prior to the MOA signing, Dr. Bacusmo presented the rationale of the project for the entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to have a grasp on what they will venture.

Dr. Bacusmo said that science and technology efforts initiated by VSU will just be wasted without its products reaching the actual or intended market segment. Thus, the TechnoMart Program of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) was established.

TechnoMart aims to fasttrack the movement of S&T products from source to the markets using a variety of “rolling out strategies” in partnerships with business organizations in the government and private sectors.

Specifically, TechnoMart is anchored on the following objectives: to establish business match and commercialization arrangement with entrepreneurs who are interested to invest or have started investing on commercializing jackfruit food products; to develop a system of supporting technology-based start-up businesses that can be adopted as standard procedure in commercializing mature technologies by technology generating institutions; and to document the commercialization process of the jackfruit processed products.

Aside from signing the MOA, the VSU partners also affirmed their commitments to the said venture.

In her part, Mayor Cari emphasized that as long as she is still the City Mayor of Baybay, she will push through the project. “I will make it as a product of Baybay and I would be very happy that Baybay will excel in this jackfruit technology of VSU,” the very supportive City Mayor said. “As long as we put our hearts to it and we put ouselves to the work that we have to do, then there is no reason that this partnership will not succeed,” she added.

Mrs. Sidiqui also expressed her support to the project as manifested by the projects implemented by the Baybay City Agriculture Office. In fact, her office is encouraging farmer-leaders with vast tract of land to plant EVIARC Sweet variety of jackfruit with funding support amounting to PhP200,000 from Congressman Jose Carlos L. Cari and Mayor Carmen L. Cari through the Plant Now Pay Later (PNPL) Program.

Mrs. Villalino, on the other hand, accepted the challenge as stipulated in the MOA. She also acknowledged the University for selecting them as partner in the commercialization of the vacuum fried jackfruit.

Moreover, Mr. Abuyabar expressed his gratitude to VSU for always being there to support their needs especially in controlling the pest in his jackfruit farm.

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