Following the directive issued recently by Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar banning the drying of palay along national roads in the provinces which causes unnecessary traffic chaos and fatal accidents, farmers may now avail a convenient and efficient drying facility created by a Filipino inventor.
Filipino Inventors Society Producers Cooperative (FISPC) president Francisco “Popoy” Pagayon who invented the Portable Solar Dryer or PORTASOL, said the dryer has been designed to help farmers dry their crop harvests in a more effective and efficient manner.
Pagayon urged the Department of Agriculture and local government units to advise farmers to avail of the PORTASOL technology which can be used in backyards since it does not require much space, and which prevents unnecessary grans losses.
“PORTASOL is a much better solution to dry palay and other crops, than the primitive and inefficient method of using the national highways that adversely affects the quality of harvests, blocks vehicular traffic, and unduly expose farmers to getting bumped by running vehicles,” Pagayon said.
PORTASOL consists of aluminum thermal trays, which farmers can easily assemble in a rack format. It has a net cover to preserve the heat from the sun, efficiently dry palay, corn, high-value crops, fish and others, and protect them from pests, bacteria, fungus, and the elements.
Pagayon said he used aluminum because it is a good geat conductor which makes the drying process faster even during rainy days. “It is more reliable, effective and efficient. It dries crops three times faster than the traditional practice of pavement drying,” he added.
Pagayon endorsed the PORTASOL after Villar called on the Department of Agriculture to provide facilities where farmers can dry their palay. Villar said drying palay along national roads is prohibited. Sen. Ralph Recto said farmers use national roads to dry their harvest because of the absence of drying equipment and infrastructures.
DPWH Department Order No. 41 bans the drying of palay and other farm produce along national highways. Farmers who violate the order face a fine of up to P1,000, or imprisonment of up to six months.
“Drying palay on concrete roads is not only unsanitary, but also wasteful. The grains get broken when they go under the wheels of trucks, jeepneys and other vehicles, aside from getting mixed with soil and stones. Farmers are also exposed to the danger of being bumped by vehicles,” Pagayon noted.
Citing studies made, he said post-harvest grains losses from highways palay drying amount to P15 billion a year due to wasteful and unsanitary drying practices. “FISPC wants to help small farmers and improve the quality of their produce so the can command better prices,” he added.
Portasol is displayed at the FISPC’s showroom and business center at the Delta Building on Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Pena earlier endorsed Portasol as a solar drying option for various crops. ###