About 180 trainees will benefit from a six-month course which will be launched by the foundation initiated by the family of Sen. Cynthia Villar, the Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG) in partnership with Dragon Farm Trading of Bulacan.
This after the Villar SIPAG foundation launched its first dragon fruit production and cultivation training at its farm school in Bacoor, Cavite.
“We are providing this training course because we want our farmers to take advantage of the commercial value of dragon fruits and provide them with opportunities to increase their income from other crops,” Villar said.
Villar, director of Villar SIPAG, said dragon fruit production is the latest training course offered for free at the farm. The foundation has also provided courses on urban farming, livestock production, and aquaculture, among others.
For the first three months, the trainees will meet every Thursday for the lecture and hands-on activities/field session.
For the remaining months, trainees will meet once every two weeks (six sessions) and will be taught how to make processed products out of dragon fruit, such as but not limited to, wine, ice cream, burger patties, tea, etc.
Villar said each session is expected to last for three hours from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The Department of Trade and Industry-National capital Region (DTI-NCR) will also conduct special seminars on packaging and labeling or tagging, to aid the participants when they start a business, as well as steps in getting business permits, etc.
Dragon fruits, which can be taken as a fruit, flower or vegetable, became a popular commodity because of its health benefits such as the prevention of cancer and hypertension, enhancement of metabolism, and improvement of the immune system.(PNA) ANP