By Vishia Mae Dominic J. Tolcidas
FITS OPA Negros Occidental
A cooking stove powered by rice husks and an egg incubator were among the attractions at the 'Organik Na Negros' booth at the Panaad sa Negros Festival in Bacolod City, the Farmers Information and Technology Service and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of Negros Occidental said in a press release.
TALK OF THE TOWN
Belonio's rice husk stove (foreground of right photo) is a bestseller in Panaad Festival, wowing enthusiasts from all over the region, perhaps because of its waste-into-fuel technology.
The top-lit, downdraft biomass stove could be used at home to reduce fuel cost amid the country's economic and energy crunch. Rice husks, usually free and available from farms and rice mills could be used as fuel.
Alexis Belonio, an agricultural engineer and professor at the Central Philippine University (CPU) in Iloilo City, engineered the low-cost stove that is considered clean, safe and environment-friendly because it does not emit harmful gases, the press release said.
Belonio's creation was recognized by the Rolex Awards last year, making him the first Filipino Laureate and one of its 10 exemplary innovators worldwide. The source also said that he used his $50,000 prize to build a stove demonstration and research center in Iloilo and has produced more than 30,000 stove units for distribution in Indonesia.
Morvyne Angay of Sagay City, a former farm administrator, said that he bought one unit of the stove so he could use it for cooking and cut down on fuel spending. A marketing coordinator of the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation, Angay said he wants to make good use of the husks dumped by the rice mill in his barangay and recycle the ash left after burning as organic fertilizer for crops.
According to Regional Applied Communications Office (RACO) Coordinator Cora Navarra, Belonio's stove, which costs P1,800, can use one kilo of rice husk for a single operation good for approximately three batches of cooking. The stove also comes with of a small fan that circulates air through the husks below an iron and steel tube more than one meter long. The tube traps the gases release, mostly hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide, and burns them at top of the tube.
Also featured at the Organik Booth was an egg incubator engineered by Margarito “Gary” Andrade.
Andrade, who hails from Banga, Aklan, first runner-up in the search for the country's outstanding Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) conducted by PCARRD in 2008.
Promoting the locally-produced and award-winning innovations of Belonio and Andrade is the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) based at the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas in Iloilo City.
HEAT ME UP
The incubator, which measures 30 inches in length, 18 inches in width, and 24 inches in height features accurate temperature with ventilation and relative humidity, easy adjustment of temperature, uniform distribution of heat even during brownout, AC/DC, and is easy to maintain.