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Looking for possible alternative livelihood project in addition to the regular monthly income as government workers, employees of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I joined the cassava processing training sponsored by the Agri-Pinoy Corn Banner Program. Held at the DA-Roffdeck, City of San Fernando, La Union on February 4-6, 2014, the training was conducted in three batches with 30 participants from each batch.

Aimed at equipping the participants with the necessary skills and knowledge on cassava processing while developing teamwork, friendship and camaraderie among the participating employees, the training also served as an avenue for them to be given possible alternative livelihood opportunities and additional incomes. Likewise, this training gave way to commercialize and promote the cassava industry as other potential alternative food crops in support to the ultimate goal of DA in achieving food sufficiency in the country.

Cassava is known for its nutritional value and potential for value-adding activities. Considered as the third most important source of calories after rice and corn, it is also vital for commercial animal feed and a rich source of calcium, Vitamins B and C and other essential minerals.

Taking all these nutritive value into consideration, Ms. Evelyn Fabello, head of the DA's Food Processing Center led the training demo on cassava food processing especially in preparing the common snacks like okoy, cassava chips, polvoron, pichi-pichi and the famous miki of Batac.

Grouped into 6 with 5 members for each group, each member-paeticpants tried the basic steps of measuring, kneading, drying, frying and mixing the ingredients in cooking and preparing the snacks made out of cassava products and by-products.

For others to try these nutritious and affordable merienda treats, here's how to cook the following cassava recipes:

Cassava Polvoron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cassava or corn flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp melted butter

Procedure:

1. Toast cassava flour to light brown

2. Mix sugar and powdered milk

3. Melt butter and add to the mixture. Mix thoroughly

4. Mold in polvoron molder

5. Wrap individually in cellophane if desired.

Pitsi-pitsi

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried grates
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp lye
  • Toppings:
  • caramel with cheese or grated coconut

Procedure:

1. Mix all ingredients

2. Pour into 2-9 round pans

3. Steam for 25 minutes

4. Put toppings and serve



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