USTP conducts Bamboost App user testing, soft launching in Iligan

By Farah Y. Sevilla, Juliette C. Virgula & Analiza C. Diaz

The University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) Cagayan de Oro conducted a soft launching and user testing of the Bamboost App – a mobile marketplace application for the sale or pre-sale of S&T-based bamboo products – last Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at the iDEYA: Center for Technopreneurship Innovation, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

The Bamboost App is one of the outputs from a USTP CDO project titled “Mainstreaming of Bamboost App as an Online Marketing Platform of Bamboo Farmers in Select Science & Technology Community-Based Farm (STCBF) Sites” which is funded and supported by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST PCAARRD). Bukidnon, Iligan, and Iloilo are the initial target sites of the project where the app is to be adopted. The project is being led by Prof. Love Jhoye M. Raboy, Associate Professor at the USTP CDO Department of Information Technology.

During the presentation and demonstration of the Bamboost App, Prof. Marylene S. Eder, Project Support Staff of the Bamboost Project, said that the mobile application is in its Phase 1 of development. The user testing is meant to introduce the Bamboost App to bamboo farmers, processors, and entrepreneurs who will eventually be the target clients once it is already up and running.

“One of the objectives of this activity is to get feedback from the beneficiaries of the mobile app whom we consider as part of the team,” Prof. Eder shared.

A total of 12 participants, who are key players in the bamboo value chain in Iligan, participated in the user testing. The farmer representatives were excited to try out the app.

Mr. Fred Dinoro said in Cebuano: “It’s a big help for us farmers. At first, we were just focusing on the community that needs help, but right now we have seen a wider scope of the market. There’s a mobile application that we can use, and if this gets developed well in the future, someday we will have a better economy.”

Mr. Jose Tomas Cabagay, Assistant Director of the Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) of the DOST PCAARRD also shared: “We believe that the successful implementation of the project – from the creation, launching and mainstreaming of the Bamboost App, its IP registration, and introduction to farming communities producing various bamboo products – will eventually lead to its commercialization, in the years to come. This project is not only important for us because of its eventual success in terms of technology generation and commercialization, and an improvement in marketing strategies for our local commodities; but more importantly because this will contribute to the sustainable and inclusive development of bamboo farming communities and cooperatives.”

In her closing message, Prof. Raboy told the participants to bear in mind that they are really part of the project and said: “This is just the start. Looking forward to the success of this project, and most of all to the success of the bamboo farming community. Help us help you reach our locals, the nation, and the world.”

Prof. Raboy then added that there will be a launching and user testing for the bamboo farmers in Iloilo in June. The Bamboost team also expressed their gratitude to their collaborator, Ms. Lilian Valencia of the Bamboo Technology Resource Center at MSU-IIT, for her assistance and support of this event.

The Bamboost App is the thesis output of the TTPD staff of the DOST PCAARRD, Ms. Analiza Diaz, for her master’s program at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. The ongoing DOST PCAARRD-USTP CDO project will pursue the enhancement of the app towards its IP registration and mainstreaming among the bamboo community in the country.