$2-M rice processing facility to open in Nueva Ecija | Inquirer Business

$2-M rice processing facility to open in Nueva Ecija

/ 03:06 AM February 17, 2016

Rice growers in nearby Central Luzon provinces will soon have easier access to high-quality seeds as a processing facility worth at least $2 million (about P96 million) is being built in Nueva Ecija.

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), with funding from the Korea International Cooperation Agency, recently broke ground for the construction of a pilot facility that is expected to be completed next year.

According to PhilRice, the seeds that will be made available through the seed processing facility will have “high seedling vigor.”


This means the plants that will germinate have better chances of survival and have better root anchorage, which will lead to higher yields for the farmers.


PhilRice also said the facility would house advanced equipment that could process up to two tons of seeds daily.

“The project’s objective is to increase the use of high-quality seeds of our farmers in Region III and Pangasinan and also to increase the efficiency of processing and certification of rice seeds by reducing the time of processing and seed testing,” PhilRice executive director Calixto M. Protacio said in a statement.

Citing studies by rice researchers, Protacio said the adoption of high-quality seeds can help increase yield by a range of 5 percent to 10 percent.

In December, PhilRice also rolled out its Lakbay Binhi project to make top-class seeds more available to farmers—especially in storm-affected communities— through trucks converted in to mobile seed centers.

According to PhilRice, pilot runs benefited farmers in Dipaculao and Casiguran towns of Aurora and Guimba in Nueva Ecjia.

In these towns where rice farms were devastated by Typhoon “Lando” in October, 2015, PhilRice distributed to “over a hundred farmers” 82 bags each containing 20 kilos of what was described as high-quality and location-specific seeds.


The new initiative responds to the challenge of having the right amount of high-quality seeds delivered to the farmers at the right time.

PhilRice said Lakbay Binhi would eventually serve hard-to-reach areas where there were no local seed growers and where adoption of high-quality seeds was low.

Also, the Department of Agriculture-supervised institute plans to work with growers of PhilRice-bred varieties to tap them as sources of supplies for Lakbay Binhi.

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Aside from offering seeds “at a reasonable price,” the Lakbay Binhi will also bring to the field PhilRice experts who will share their knowledge on crop management practices and location-specific technologies. Ronnel W. Domingo

TAGS: Nueva Ecija, Philippine Rice Research Institute, PhilRice, rice

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