Friday, May 24, 2024

First Pinoy-made salt harvester launched in Mindoro

A recently-deployed salt harvester machine that is 100% locally made could shorten salt production in the country from a matter of months to just two weeks.

Photo from DOST-PCIEERD

Salt harvesting is a labor-intensive process, in which large pools of saltwater are left to dry and then tediously scraped of their salt. Such backbreaking work can be facilitated through mechanized farming tools – which, however, are often imported and expensive for local farmers.

The need for local technological innovation prompted the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to develop solutions via its Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) initiative, which is under the agency’s Science for Change Program.

Philippine salt producer and manufacturer JALD Industries Corporation was able to develop a fully locally-built salt harvester with CRADLE funding and supervision from the DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

The fully Pinoy-made salt harvester was deployed recently in Occidental Mindoro and promises to shorten harvesting time from several months to just two weeks, even while addressing concerns such as salt impurities and production inefficiencies, according to the DOST.

“This project was borne out of the necessity to create a solution in reducing the time required to produce salt with improved quality. At a time when we are experiencing supply issues, this is how science and technology comes in as a bearer of solutions,” said DOST-PCIEERD executive director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit.

Paringit expressed hope for widespread local adoption of the device, thereby jumpstarting not just the local salt industry but also the local fabrication industry as well.

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