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PSAU tamarind production gets research funding

MAGALANG, Pampanga – The production, promotion and distribution of tamarind (sampalok) here gets a boost as the Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU) here gets a multimillion peso fund.

Dr. Anita David, PSAU President, said that it is getting a P33-million fund from the Department of Science and Technology for a study on the sour Tamarind under NICER (Niche Center for R and D in the Regions) program.

“We create different varieties of the sour tamarind this time,” David said in a recent briefing for Pampanga Press Club members.

PSAU is known to have produced the Aglibut variety, a sweet tamarind that is now registered and patented as a product of the farm school. Its name was derived from late Professor Andres Aglibut who was successful in the clonal seedling of the sweet variety.

Already, PSAU — through its Tamarind RDE Center — produces tamarind wine, juice, candies, jam and other by-products from the Aglibut variety that has been featured in several TV, magazines and other media outlets and food exhibitions.

David said they plan to produce sinigang (sour soup) mix for commercial purposes.  She said that PSAU will be in charge of the production and  commercial distribution of the tamarind products. The varieties are planted in a 45-hectare farm inside PSAU campus and adjoining areas. The production also supports hundreds of farmers belonging to local cooperatives.

With its distinctive qualities, the PSAU-produced tamarind has also gotten the interest of commercial and industrial food manufacturers.

‘Aglibut Sweet’, the first sweet tamarind registered under the Bureau of Plant Industry – National Seed Industry Council (NSIC), has been very instrumental in the creation and establishment of institutional partnerships with DA-BAR, CHED, NEDA, and DOST-PCAARRD.

With this variety, this town has become the tamarind capital of the Philippines. It is comparable if not better than those produced in other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand.