As the government aims to reach rice self-sufficiency next year, agricultural company Bayer Philippines Inc. is set to inaugurate a newly installed seed processing unit within its plant in Canlubang, Laguna, next week to increase the production of hybrid rice seeds in the country.
The investment, worth approximately $1.8 million (P80.5 million), is expected to allow Bayer to improve its production for the Philippine market by 30 percent.
“With this new investment, we expect to augment production by 30 percent in the succeeding years and effectively support the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) one million-hectare hybrid target by 2020,” the company said in a statement.
Currently, Bayer Philippines contributes approximately 30 percent of the total hybrid supply in the country.
The company’s new high capacity hybrid rice seed conditioning line, an equipment from Cimbria, Denmark, will be used to improve the process of cleaning and polishing seeds.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol advocates the use of hybrid seeds to increase the rice yield in the country.
He wants one million hectares of farmland planted with hybrid rice at an estimated cost of P15 billion, or P5,000 per hectare, before the end of President Duterte’s term in 2020.
For this year, DA was given a budget allocation of P60 billion. —KARL R. OCAMPO