More Scholarships For Mango Processing Competencies Eyed

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Isidro Lapena is confident more schools and enrollees would benefit from the new Competency Standards (CS) –Mango Production Level II, and Mango Processing Level II– that the agency launched last week.

“We are expecting a good number (of schools to apply for accreditation for these new CS) because TESDA can readily provide scholarships for this training. Also, we are expecting agri schools of TESDA to register (for) mango production, and mango-producing areas to register for mango processing (competencies),” Lapena said.

He, however, could not give an estimate figure of the number of schools that would likely apply for accreditation.

“Mango industry is among our leading export (products), and (it) greatly contributes in Philippine economy so we have to support the sector. We have to ensure this industry remains competitive,” he said of why TESDA chose mango industry in the new CS.

TESDA said CSs are “industry-determined specification of competencies required for effective work performance”, and are often focused on workplace activity.

For Mango Production Level II, enrollees will learn competencies required in mango nursery operations, mango planting, caring and maintaining of mango orchard, and harvest and postharvest operations.

They are expected to become a mango grower, mango farmer, or mango nursery operator.

Mango Processing Level II, on the other hand, will provide competencies in processing mangoes by fermentation and pickling, by sugar concentration, and by drying and dehydration.

The ability to pack processed food and operate simple packing equipment is also among the learnings one can get from the CS.

The CS includes learning how to inspect simple defects in packing materials, seal integrity, and correct product label. It also includes calibrating, assembling, and operating of basic food processing tools and equipment.

Qualifiers may become a food processing worker, food production staff, quality control staff, mango processor, and fruit candy maker.

“TESDA has an existing food processing competency that is being offered, but this is the first time we are offering processing and production (competencies) specifically focused on mangoes,” remarked Lapena.

He added the training may start any time soon once schools have registered their programs to be accredited. (PNA)