Rice seed processing facility, warehouses to soon rise in Nueva Ecija | Inquirer Business

Rice seed processing facility, warehouses to soon rise in Nueva Ecija

/ 02:06 AM November 04, 2023

MANILA  -A new rice seed processing facility and warehouse with cold storage facilities will soon rise in Nueva Ecija, which should bolster the country’s efforts to become more rice self-sufficient.

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said the facility would be set up at its central experiment station in Science City of Muñoz and would be complemented by new storage facilities to be built in PhilRice’s Ilocos Norte and Isabela stations.

The Global Agricultural Policy Institute will undertake the project in collaboration with the National Food Authority (NFA). The construction will run until 2026.


South Korea provided $4.5 million in official development assistance to complete the project aimed at enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of the rice supply chain.


“The Official Development Assistance (ODA) project was initiated by the Philippines in October 2019 and gained momentum in May 2023 with the signing of a Record of Discussions outlining mutual objectives,” it added.

The project “is expected to help increase the utilization rate of high-quality certified rice seeds, improve self-sufficiency in rice production, and enhance food security in the Philippines,” the agency said.

The Philippines is hard-pressed to produce enough rice to feed its people, with rice self-sufficiency declining since the 1990s to just 77 percent in 2022, from 81.5 percent the previous year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. The supply gap is filled by imports, mainly from neighboring Thailand and Vietnam.

15-year highs

With global rice prices soaring to 15-year highs, local prices have likewise increased and thus blamed for the acceleration in the cost of basic goods and services.

PhilRice contributes to rice self-sufficiency by producing foundation and registered seeds, which are then distributed to research and production centers of the Department of Agriculture, state universities and colleges and seed growers.

“These facilities help ensure the high quality and viability of seeds and reduce grain losses. Seed distribution is also fast-tracked with these facilities,” Fidela Bongat, head of PhilRice’s Business Development Division, said.


The project will also come with hardware and software for PhilRice’s Rice Seed Information System (RSIS) and the NFA as well as training programs for local producers.

According to PhilRice, RSIS is a digital platform for collecting, consolidating, and disaggregating near real-time rice seed production and distribution data at the municipal, provincial and national levels.

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Data gathered from the system will aid policymakers and key government agencies in making sound decisions regarding rice production, it added. INQ

TAGS: Business, PhilRice, processing, rice, warehouses

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