MANILA — The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) on Thursday said that they have embarked on a project that would facilitate the production of export-grade Ylang-Ylang oil in the province of Tarlac and make the province the top producer of the said oil in the Philippines.
In a press briefing, PhilMech executive director Rex Bingabing said the project, to be funded by the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), aims to deploy 10 Ylang-Ylang oil extractor machines in various barangays in the town of Anao, Tarlac in January to February next year.
He said that PhilMech and KOICA, through its Deputy Resident Representative Heesoo Hong, signed the agreement last week for the project’s formal launching.
KOICA will be providing Php20 million for the said project.
“Each oil extractor machine can process 10 kilograms of Ylang-Ylang flowers in six to eight hours to produce 10 milliliters of oil. The aim is for the cooperators in Tarlac to produce export grade Ylang-Ylang oil which commands a high price in the export market,” Bingabing said.
Export grade Ylang-Ylang oil costs P45,000 per liter.
Ylang-Ylang being grown and propagated in Anao, Tarlac is considered to offer the best scent among Ylang-Ylang trees in the Philippines and has an export potential as a cologne or a raw material for perfumes.
PhilMech tested its first Ylang-Ylang oil extractor machine in Anao, Tarlac since last year.
Bingabing said that the The Korean Inventors Promotion Association collaborated with PhilMech to develop the Ylang-Ylang oil extracting machine prototype.
“Prior to the development of the prototype, the people of Anao had to sell their harvested flowers to processors or undertake a cottage-level extraction of the oils which is not usually efficient,” he said.
When the machines are in place in early 2015, PhilMech is hoping that Ylang-Ylang production would flourish in Anao.
This early, the local government unit (LGU) of Anao had already obtained a Php500,000 grant from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the planting of Ylang-Ylang trees in 40 hectares (has.) of land.
“Latest reports we have is that the LGU had so far identified 30 has. of land available for Ylang-Ylang planting. It only needs 10 has. more to avail of the DENR grant,” Bingabing said.
Several cottage industries based on Ylang-Ylang could also be established by the people of Anao, PhilMech officials noted.
Among them is the production of scented candles as well as mosquito coils from the remnants of pressed Ylang-Ylang flowers.
Meanwhile, Bingabing said that the Ylang-Ylang oil extractor machine is one of the products of PhilMech’s Agrinnovation, a system where existing technologies are modified or even improved to suit Philippine conditions.
“The Agrinnovation approach of PhilMech for its research and development activities on farm machines has resulted to the development of prototype models in six to 12 months compared to the usual three to five years,” he said.
“Agrinnovation would fast-track the mechanization of Philippine agriculture to make it more competitive. This would put us in step with our ASEAN neighbors as economic integration comes,” Bingabing said.