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Gov’t agencies initiate livelihood venture for women folk

Attention fitness buffs! A health food made even healthier will soon be available in the market, thanks to the Department of Agriculture and its line agency, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Both agencies held a livelihood training for women folk in Minanga, Buguey, Cagayan focusing on the production of food products from soybeans and seaweeds.

Prime product being promoted is the ubiquitous taho (soft tofu) with agar (seaweed extract) as coagulant.

Citing various researches, DA trainer Rosemary G. Aquino rounded off several health benefits of soybeans during the training held from June 27 to 30. The head of the Cagayan Valley Research Center in Ilagan, Isabela advocated for its higher consumption, saying that soybeans protect against cancer due to its isoflavones content, can counter diabetes (Type 2) and cardio vascular diseases, and can also bring down bad weight due to its high percentage of dietary fiber.

Aquino added that soybeans contains high protein, can increase bone density due to its folate content and thus prevent osteoporosis, and also has high levels of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E to counter aging.

Adding agar further increases the health benefits of taho. Seaweeds as commonly known are packed with vitamins and minerals. Seaweeds also have detoxification functions and can also lower cholesterol levels.

Showcasing its versatility, Aquino also demonstrated ways to make soy milk and tokwa. The by-product from soy milk processing called ‘texturized vegetable meat’ is an excellent analogue to real meat and can be made into meat balls, embutido, okoy and the like.

Aquino and her team also brought with them five bags seed materials to promote production of soy beans. The DA expert also pledged to provide high capacity soymilk separation machine for the group.

Seaweed products

BFAR RO2 fish processing expert Proserfina Reyno on the other hand, demonstrated ways to make various products from seaweed (Gracilaria sp) such as flan, chips, maja blanca, noodles and pickles.

In addition to the training, BFAR RO2 provided materials and equipment for seaweed processing. Reyno said that the agency is planning to replicate success of the rural improvement club in Gonzaga, Cagayan who are engaged in seaweed processing.

“We see this upcoming livelihood venture not only as a way to provide supplemental source of income but also to contribute to the promotion of well-being among the consumers,” BFAR RO2 Regional Director Dr. Jovita Ayson, said. (max prudencio BFAR RO2)

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