Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) launched its first dragon fruit production and cultivation training at its farm school in Bacoor, Cavite.
About 180 trainees will benefit from the 6-month course which will be held in partnership with Dragon Farm Trading of Bulacan.
Senator Cynthia Villar, director of Villar SIPAG, said dragon fruit production is the latest training course offered for free at the farm. The foundation has also provided courses on urban farming, livestock production, and aquaculture, among others.
“We are providing this training course because we want our farmers to take advantage of the commercial value of dragon fruits and provide them with opportunities to increase their income from other crops,” Villar said.
For the first three months, the trainees will meet every Thursday for the lecture and hands-on activities/field session. For the remaining months, they will meet once every two weeks (six sessions) and will be taught how to make processed products out of dragon fruit, such as but not limited to, wine, ice cream, burger patties, tea, etc.
The Department of Trade and Industry – National capital Region will also conduct special seminars on packaging and labelling or tagging, to aid the participants when they start a business, as well as steps in getting business permits, etc.
Each session is expected to last for 3 hours from 8AM to 11AM.
Dragon fruits can be taken as a fruit, flower, vegetable and as a health product. It became a popular commodity because of its health benefits such as the prevention of cancer and hypertension, enhancement of metabolism, and improvement of the immune system.