A group of Pala'wan tribe of Sitio Mate, Brookes Point who underwent training conducted by PSU Brooke's Point last October 22. (Photo from Lynette Hufanda)

The Palawan State University (PSU) Brooke’s Point Extension Program recently offered a series of training on food processing with the goal of providing an extra source of income for an indigenous peoples (IPs) community in Sitio Mate, Barangay Pangobilian.

The training, which was done on October 22, included the processing of pickled products made from papaya, bitter gourd, and bamboo shoots. The participants were taught sales and marketing strategies to enable them to sell their goods effectively within their communities or to local consumers.

Lynette Hufanda, the coordinator of PSU Campus Extension, emphasized the need of providing livelihood initiatives to local communities, particularly to groups of Pala’wan indigenous peoples living in the highlands, since it’s a distinctive purpose of the PSU Brooke’s Point campus.

A group of Pala’wan tribe of Sitio Mate, Brookes Point who underwent training conducted by PSU Brooke’s Point last October 22. (Photo from Lynette Hufanda)

“This is an initiative of the Palawan State University Brooke’s Point extension unit that works with the indigenous peoples in the relocated area of Sitio Mate to improve the economic and social conditions of their lives and to enhance their capacity of becoming responsible for their own future development,” Hufanda said Friday, October 30.

She noted that it is critical to offer indigenous people these types of revenue-generating enterprises so they may better respect their culture, traditions, and beliefs while also providing a little but adequate income for their family.

“The PSU-Brooke’s Point is earnest in providing interventions to uplift the lives of the indigents, and to preserve their cultural heritage as Pala’wans,” she added.

The school has teamed with Negosyo Center Brooke’s Point-DTI Palawan to provide start-up kits, product outlets, and the marketing of indigenous items for the livelihood program.

According to Hufanda, they were also able to deliver training to indigenous people who benefited from their knowledge in November 2020. Additionally, they were able to offer the pickles that PSU-Brooke’s Point wants to enhance in order to increase their market appeal and generate extra revenue.

She stated that indigenous peoples may be able to make a significant number of products for sale in the market or community come December, just in time for the holiday season.

“We are just waiting for our container jars and other supplies to arrive so we can use them for [a] larger production. Hopefully, they will be delivered sooner in the month of November so that the community members will also be able to start selling to be able to earn,” said Hufanda.

“To ensure that the quality requirements in terms of taste, texture, presentation, and packaging are met, the processing will be done in the BSHM Laboratory in PSU Brooke’s Point Campus. We will help in the marketing and financial management of the project but of course, 100% of the income will go to them. Our role is to provide them a sustainable livelihood” she added.

Meanwhile, Hufanda noted that in addition to food processing, the PSU Brooke’s Point Extension Unit has expanded other projects, including the distribution of vegetable seeds and training in the production of natural fertilizers and insecticides through the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture; literacy training through the Bachelor of Secondary and Elementary Education; and Financial Literacy Programs through the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology looks forward to educating the Pala’wans on online marketing for their local products.

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is the news correspondent for Sofronio Española and Narra, Palawan. He also covers some agriculture stories. His interests are with food and technology.