Bagoong has gone upscale.
The salty, sautéed tiny shrimp paste has made its way from Bataan to the fastfood lane and beyond.
And that’s good for Amanda Battad whose small, ‘almost’ home-based enterprise supplies bagoong to one of the country’s largest bakeshop chain and to a well-loved fastfood Chinese restaurant.
Battad’s bagoong is home-based because her house in a subdivision in Barangay Pio Rivas, Balangga, Bataan, is actually a mini-factory for the sautéed shrimps as well as dried tuyo and smoked tinapa.
Amanda’s Marine Products exports the Filipino comfort food through a consolidator to the United States, Canada, Australia, Dubai and other countries in the Middle East with big Filipino population.
The “small” enterprise has been able to do all these through a series of technology interventions that multiplied production and met volume requirements of exports and fast food requirements.
These include a machine that vacuum-packs the dried and smoked fish, a food processor, stainless steel mixer and salinity meter for the shrimp paste.
That was in 2006 when Battad availed of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) no-collateral, interest-free small enterprise technology upgrading program (SETUP) program. The first package of technology interventions worth nearly P300,0000 has all been paid up, making the enterprise qualified to avail of another facility in 2010, this time for the acquisition of two cooking mixers.
In both cases, the equipment came with technical inputs, including expert advice on food safety and good manufacturing practices and technology needs assessments. And whatever it took to upscale the enterprise, said Rosallie Ona, DOST provincial director for Bataan.
The technology interventions made up the sum total of the SET UP facility. The second facility worth P780,000 has also been paid up.
From 2013, Battad has been on her third SET UP project, this time a technology package worth P1.954 million.
Battad said income has increased by 147 percent from 2009 when the first SET UP interventions started up to 2012 alone, the second year of the second SET UP facility.
“Product quality was enhanced through the help of the equipment that aided standard production procedures,” she added. “I was able to comply with the regulatory requirements of the Food and Drug Administration through the acquisition of food safety expertise.”
Battad, who gained her knowledge in tinapa production from her mother whom she helped sell smoked fish in a public market, eventually expanded her products to include tuyo and bagoong.
SETUP is a nationwide strategy aimed at improving the productivity and competitiveness of micro, small, and medium enterprises.
It provides a wide range of solutions which include technology transfer and commercialization, technical consultancy services (Manufacturing Productivity Extension, Consultancy for Agricultural Productivity Enhancement, food safety, energy audit, cleaner production, etc.), packaging and labeling assistance, technology trainings, calibration and laboratory testing services, and equipment acquisition through the innovation-enabling fund (i-fund).
SETUP helps firms buy appropriate technologies, the acquisition cost of which will be amortized in equal monthly installments for a period of three years, without interest.
The technical services on food safety, good manufacturing practices and plant layout as well as assistance on laboratory testing provided by DOST regional offices helped SET UP adoptors acquire licenses to operate from the Food and Drug Administration. At least 100 SETUP adoptors a year are assisted by DOST in obtaining these licenses.
With SETUP, backward and forward linkages are created, spurring economic activities in the countryside. Local farmers and other suppliers of raw materials are now able to easily market their produce.
Some SETUP adoptors have also become local fabricators of DOST-developed technologies and other machineries/equipment. SETUP interventions like technology trainings and technical services have also enabled local enterprises to come up with new innovative products.