MATANAO, Davao del Sur, July 9 (PNA) — The establishment of the new state-of-the-art postharvest facility and technology of the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office here has encouraged farmers in this town to further expand their rice production area.
This was disclosed by Arthur Ramon of the BADAGOY Irrigators Association as he noted the plan of the farmers to convert 1,000 hectares of sugarcane production area as additional rice farm to their existing 2,250 hectares in Matanao town.
He said the farmers could get better production given a 65 percent rate of recovery of their produce with the establishment of the Rice Processing Complex (RPC) compared to small rice millers that only give them 50 percent recovery for the wastage incurred during harvest.
He also said that with the auto pack the weight of milled rice is calibrated at 50 kilograms per sack.
“We saw the great advantage on our part if we have our rice produced milled at the RPC,” he said.
The Rice Processing Complex in the Philippines projects are grant from the government of Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) valued at 13 million US dollars.
The partnership covers four areas. Aside from Matanao, Davao del Sur, the other complex facilities are located in Tebang East, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan; Pototan, Iloilo; and Poblacion Pilar, Bohol.
Ricardo Onate, Jr., project manager of RPC DA XI said the complex is a one-stop service center equipped with the state-of-the-art postharvest facilities and technologies that will improve the efficiency of rice production, milling, drying and storage.
He said it will reduce postharvest losses and enhance rice quality. “It also provides consumers access to safe and quality rice,” he said.
Meanwhile, plant engineer Policarpio Fontanilla, Jr. said the facility enables the preservation of quality of newly harvested palay. It also assures the capability of mechanical dryer to dry fresh palay harvest with milling recovery of 65 percent. He said it can produce 50 to 60 bags per hour or about 3,000 bags a month.
The complex, he said, has mechanical dryers with drying capacity of 5,600 tons per year or 1,000 bags per day. It has a warehouse with storage capacity of 1,100 tons or 22,000 bags.
The RPC has a brown rice section and polishing section, a color sorter, length grader, stone separator and rice separator from broken to head rice.
Fontanilla said it is also capable of producing Premium Milled rice.
The RPC is also equipped with dust collector thus abiding with good agricultural practices and address environmental concerns and issues.
On the other hand, Engr. Leonaveth Nedamo, plant manager said they provide consumers clean and safe rice at affordable price. Although she said there are about 30 varieties of rice but is hot in the market today is the B160. The palay is sourced from different areas of Davao del Sur, Sarangani and South Cotabato.
She said they service rice producers not only from Davao but also in Region XII and other rice producing groups and association like the Magsaysay Rice that produces and sells only organic rice.
Nadamo said rice bags and packs are labeled with Davao RPC. The rice are packed 50 kilos per bag and 25 kilos, five kilos and two kilos in packs. They supply a Korean community in Davao City of 120 bags per quarter; the food chain restaurants like Jollibee, Mang Inasal, Chowking and Greenwich with about 160 bags monthly; and grocery outlets at JS Gaisano in Davao City, Gaisano Grand in Tibungco, Toril and Digos City, Davao del Sur.