San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte- The provincial government of Ilocos Norte had launched the country’s first Automated Multi-Crop Drying Machine (AMCDM) at the Takuat Training Center here.

Ilocos Norte’s Sustainable Development Center (SDC) head Edwin Cariño said the provincial government had successfully tested the drying machine.

“The province of Ilocos Norte is maximizing this agricultural innovation to sustain its food security in the province amid COVID19 pandemic,” he said.

“This AMCDM is a first of its kind in the country. Through this, we aim to help our farmers and the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in the province. We can process their surplus produce and preserve it for longer period, which, we can utilize this for export,” Cariño added.

Dr. Lorcelie B. Taclan, who is from Pasuquin town and the brainchild of the manual form of the multi-crop drying machine, worked together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to upgrade the machine into an automated heat pump dryer.

“The heating temperature of the machine is 35-50 centigrade. We will not be cooking the commodities; instead, we will be drying only,” said Taclan.

“We do not need to put any chemical to preserve the commodities, assuring that the nutritional content and pigment of the commodities are retained,” Taclan explained.

The duration of the drying process for each kind of vegetable varies. In the case of dragon fruit, which was used in the test run, the drying process lasted for 33 hours.