THE Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said it has started building a seed processing facility and cold storage warehouse in Nueva Ecija.
In a statement, PhilRice said that the new facility is expected to “help increase the utilization rate of high-quality certified rice seed, improve self-sufficiency in rice production, and enhance food security.”
“Running until 2026, the project aims to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of the rice supply chain through modern rice seed processing facilities, equipment provision, and advanced technology transfer,” PhilRice said.
It added that the facility is being built in partnership with the South Korean government’s Global Agricultural Policy Institute. The Philippines’ National Food Authority (NFA) is also collaborating on the project.
PhilRice has said that South Korea invested $4.5 million in the project.
The project also involves the construction of warehouses with cold storage and acclimatization rooms at PhilRice field stations in San Mateo, Isabela, and Batac, Ilocos Norte.
It will supply equipment and automation supplies to PhilRice’s Rice Seed Information System (RSIS) and NFA offices to boost operational efficiencies.
The RSIS is a platform for collecting, consolidating, and disaggregating in near real-time rice seed production and distribution data at the municipal, provincial, and national levels.
“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. — Adrian H. Halili