Representatives from Korean and Philippine national agencies and corporations recently commenced construction on a new rice seed processing facility and warehouse with cold storage, marking a significant step in strengthening bilateral ties. 

Established in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, the facility, according to Dr. Byung Ki Lee, Global Agricultural Policy Institute (GAPI) project manager, 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.

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. The National Food Authority will also collaborate in this project.

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. 

Dr. John C. De Leon, PhilRice executive director, expressed his gratitude for Korea’s kindness and his hope to pay it forward by improving the county’s rice sector.

Ceremony highlights include the placement of a time capsule containing rice grains, plans, and a newspaper at the construction site. 

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute