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TECH TAPPED TO IMPROVE FARMERS’ LIVES

App eyed to help sell bamboo products

Poster of B Bamboost app. STORY: App eyed to help sell bamboo productsMANILA, Philippines — There’s an online marketplace being developed for products made from the not -so -owly bamboo — that huge variety of grass for which the country has a thriving industry.

Filipinos can help support bamboo farmers through the “Bamboost” app — a “mobile marketplace” being developed by the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines-Cagayan de Oro (USTP-CDO).

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A “user testing” of the app was held on May 24 at the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.

According to USTP-CDO, the event also served as a soft launching of Bamboost, which is just in its initial stage.

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But the bamboo farmers who took part in the user testing were “excited to try out the app,” according to the university.

Fred Dinoro, one of the 12 participants, said the app will be “a big help for us farmers.”

He added that “if this gets developed well in the future, someday we will have a better economy.”

Speaking in Cebuano, he said the participants, at first, were thinking about how the app could be of help to their community. But they realized soon enough that it could have “a wider scope of the market.”

‘Target clients’

USTP-CDO said in a statement, “The user testing is meant to introduce the Bamboost App to bamboo farmers, processors and entrepreneurs who will eventually be the target clients once it is already up and running.”

Apart from Iligan City, Bukidnon and Iloilo provinces are the other “initial target sites of the [Bamboost] project where the app is to be adopted,” USTP-CDO said.

According to the project’s leader, associate professor Love Jhoye Raboy of USTP-CDO’s Department of Information Technology, the app will have another user testing in Iloilo this month.

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The Bamboost project is funded and supported by the the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).

USTP-CDO said the project was developed from the “thesis output” of Analiza Diaz, a staff member of the DOST-PCAARRD’s Technology Transfer and Promotion Division, for her master’s program at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand.

Versatile material

“We believe that the successful implementation of the project—from the creation, launching and mainstreaming of the Bamboost App, [to] its IP registration and introduction to farming communities producing various bamboo products—will eventually lead to its commercialization in the years to come,” said Jose Tomas Cabagay, assistant director of the said division.

The bamboo is one of the most economically significant nontimber forest products globally. It is considered a high-value crop and a versatile material for many products, such as wood furniture, wall panels, bicycles, utensils, handicrafts and bamboo-based food and beverages.

The Philippines is among the top exporters of bamboo, ranking 6th worldwide, according to the DOST-PCAARRD.

—WITH A REPORT FROM INQUIRER RESEARCH 

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TOPICS: app-based services, bamboo
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