CABARROGUIS, Quirino, Jan. 8-The provincial and municipal officials here attended the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) forum conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) yesterday at the CFFQI Training hall.

During the Forum, the officials led by Gov. Junie Cua and the six municipal mayors were briefed on the overview of DOST’s SET-UP project and services which the customers may avail of.

In his presentation, Assistant Regional Director Sancho Mabborang said SETUP is one of the strategies to address the challenges for Region 2 to become a region of world-class, empowered and productive citizenry with competitive
agri-industrial economy.

SETUP is a nationwide strategy to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in adopting technological innovations to improve their operations and thus boost their productivity and competitiveness.

Mabborang stressed that the region has many opportunities for growth and development being the top producer of corn and second in palay and it also a net exporter of these grains to other regions.

“We have a wide expanse of potential agricultural expansion areas suitable for crops, livestock and agro-forestry production. About 573,066 hectares of grassland and brush land can be utilized can be utilized”, Mabborang added.

But to fully maximize these opportunities, Mabborang said the region has to address challenges such as low receptivity of farmers to appropriate, location specific and cost reducing technologies.

“There are mature technologies that were developed by the Department of Agriculture (DA), Cagayan Valley Agricultural Research, Resource and Development (CVARRD), and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) for increased agricultural productivity but adoption of these technologies is still low”, he stressed.

Other challenges include high post-harvest losses and limited access to farm mechanization.

For his part, Gov. Cua thanked DOST for the SETUP as he asked the municipal mayors to fast track the identification of SET-UP beneficiaries from the six towns so that they can already be oriented and trained on the project implementation.

“There are many small businessmen that need assistance so that they will be able to upgrade their technologies.
Even the barbecue vendors need to be trained so that they can improve their products,” the governor said.

DOST explained that potential set SETUP beneficiaries must have an existing registered business for at least two years and the registration is not expired. (TCB/PIA 2-Quirino
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