Benguet steps up charcoal briquette production

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By Nikka Garriga

LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET – The production of charcoal briquettes has proven to be a profitable business for locals here as agro-forest wastes used for making these flammable blocks – such as leaves, twigs  branches – are abundant in this province with mostly woodlands surrounding its physical geography.

This caught the eye of private company McConnell Dowell Philippines, which plans to train other municipalities on the production of eco-friendly charcoal briquettes. The necessary equipment will also be turned over to each town to help them start their own livelihood project.

The charcoal briquettes are made by gathering and burning the waste materials in a drum. Smoke emitted in this process is minimal as it passes through a filter placed atop the container. The dried wastes are then compressed using a machine and is applied with starch to hold its form.

These are then sold in the local market at an affordable price.

According to McConnell Dowell’s Community Relations Officer Rose White, the aim of the four-day training  is to familiarize the use of charcoal briquettes as an alternative to liquid petroleum gas and traditional charcoal.

White added that its liquid by-product can also be used to clean canals or as an organic pesticide when fermented.

The training will be held at the Crop Techno Station of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in the town of Puguis from October 24 to 27.

Concerned government agencies have continually been working on other alternatives for wood fuel. Besides forest waste, the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) have also developed the same material using scrap paper.

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