Metro Pacific eyes hybrid rice production in Compostela ValleyBy Frinston L. Lim
TAGUM CITY, Philippines—Metro Pacific Investment Corp. is eyeing the development of 2,000 hectares of farmland in Maragusan, Compostela Valley, into a hybrid rice production area, Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy said.
The area is part of 6,000 hectares land in the village of Langgawisan which the local government plans to convert into plantations for high-value commercial crops, including hybrid rice.
Uy told the Inquirer on Monday that he had recently met with officials from MPIC and SL Agritech Corp. over the project.
MPIC, which is led by Manny Pangilinan, is collaborating with SL Agritech in its first foray into agriculture.
SL Agritech, which has rice seedling production facilities in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, and Banaybanay, Davao Oriental, will be providing the seedlings for the planned hybrid rice production area.
“They are interested to have it in Caragan Valley (in Maragusan),” he said.
Uy said MPIC and SL Agritech officials had only one request before they pursue the project— the improvement of the road from the town center to Caragan Valley.
“I already talked to Mayor Ceasar Colina about it,” he said.
Uy said if plans push through, MPIC’s hybrid rice production could begin in the second half of 2013.
Meanwhile, UK-based Oxfam and Dakila-Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism brought to Davao City last week its brown rice campaign.
The partnership, Oxfam said, was aimed at bringing brown or unpolished rice “back to the regular diet of the Filipino.”
“By shifting and supporting the healthier rice, the campaign aims to encourage the Filipino public not only to choose a healthier lifestyle but also help local farmers, sustainable agriculture, and climate mitigation,” Oxfam said in a statement.
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