Tuesday, August 5, 2008

[kgma] PGMA orders procurement of equipment for mass production of vegetable flour

PGMA orders procurement of equipment for mass production of vegetable
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the immediate
procurement of the equipment needed for the mass production of flour
made from vegetables.

The President issued the directive to the Department of Science and
Technology (DOST), Press Secretary Jesus Dureza told a media briefing
in Malacanang this afternoon.

Dureza said the mass production of flour made from vegetables
would cut down significantly the country’s importation of the costly
wheat flour.

“The President has directed the DOST for the immediate procurement of
equipment for the production of vegetable flour,” Presidential
Management Staff (PMS) chief Secretary Cerge Remonde said.

Remonde and Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III were with Dureza at
the press briefing.

Remonde said flour from cassava, squash and other vegetables and crops
would augment the supply of flour

Commercial bakers have already raised the prices of their products
such as “pan de sal” and loaf bread due to the high cost of imported
wheat flour.

“We can make flour out of indigenous materials and at least mix it
with (wheat) flour,” Remonde said.

Remonde said Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila will also hold
continuing dialogues with bakers and flour millers in an effort to
prevent further price increases and support the government’s Tinapay
ng Bayan program.

Tinapay ng Bayan is a joint initiative of the Philippine Flourmillers
Association, Inc., the Chamber of Philippine Flourmillers and the
Department of Agriculture (DA) to sell cheaper bread and pan de sal, a
popular breakfast food among ordinary Filipinos.

Aside from the mass production of vegetable flour, the President also
launched recently the mass production of more nutritious vegetables
noodles from the Benguet State University to help cushion the impact
of soaring food prices on poor families.

The mass production of vegetable flour and vegetable noodles will
definitely boost the farmers’ income, provide an alternative market
for local vegetables, and lower prices due to lesser dependence on
imported and costly wheat flour, the DTI said.

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