DILIMAN, Quezon City—A non-traditional flour made from watermelon rind becomes the center of a young agripreneur’s enterprise after exploring new ways to reduce waste in their watermelon farm in Naic, Cavite.
Rheanell Angca, a beneficiary of the Agricultural Training Institute’s (ATI) Youth in Agripreneurship Program (YAP), talked about this project at length on the Institute’s teleradyo program on DZRH.
“I would sell packed fruits in the office and there would be a lot of watermelon peelings left. This had me thinking of other ways to use the peelings aside from making them into fertilizer. So, I did some research through the internet and found out that watermelon rind is edible,” 35-year-old Angca shared on “Agri Asenso”.
From her research online, she also discovered that watermelon rind flour is packed with several vitamins, citrulline, and fiber.
Making watermelon rind flour, Angca said, involves extracting the rind from the fruit first, and cutting it into very fine pieces. The chopped rind will be placed in a dehydrator to remove its water content. After the dehydration process, the rind will be pulverized to achieve the flour texture.
At present, Angca is still in the testing stage of the product. Based on her experiments, the watermelon rind flour is best mixed with traditional flour at 75:25 or 50:50 ratios to achieve optimum results. She added that some food products that can be made using watermelon rind flour are “puto”, pasta, biscuits, and cookies.
In 2021, Angca received Php350,000 as one of the YAP beneficiaries in the Advanced category. This grant served as her capital in her watermelon rind processing project.
YAP seeks to holistically empower the youth in venturing into the sector and shape them to be partners for advancement. The program involves a series of training and the provision of grants for deserving agribusiness proposals.
A total of 27 youth from CALABARZON, Central Visayas, and Soccsksargen, who won the business pitching competition, received their grants in a ceremony in December 2021.
Angca’s full interview on “Agri Asenso” last August 13 may be streamed at the ATI Facebook page through www.facebook.com/ATIinteractive/videos/1477143812748750.