To provide high-quality seeds to farmers and seed growers, the first state-of-the-art rice seed processing facility that houses advanced equipment was inaugurated at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Science City of Muñoz, December 6.
Funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) under the project Enhancing the capacity of production and distribution of high-quality rice seeds, the said facility is worth more than $2 M and can process up to 2 tons of seeds per hour.
According to studies, the adoption of high-quality seeds contributes to 5-10% increase in yield.
“High-quality seeds play a vital role in rice productivity. You may have a proper irrigation, fertilizer application, and mechanization, but if you don’t plant the right seed, it wouldn’t be enough,” DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said during the inauguration ceremony.
The facility has two units of 6 tons per batch recirculating dryer; two units of 4 tons capacity per batch reversible airflow flatbed dryers; two units of 2t/hr air-screen machine; one unit of 2t/hr gravity separator; an automatic bagger and closer; and a 50 cubic meter cold storage room.
“It is the first of its kind in the Philippines and expected to drastically reduce the Institute’s seed processing time by at least half,” said Engr. Evangeline Sibayan, head of the rice engineering and mechanization division.
“This facility will help us take another step in reaching our goal of a rice secure Philippines. We hope to strengthen our partnership with the government of Korea to continue establishing this kind of facility in all our seed production areas in the country,” PhilRice Acting Executive Director Dr. Sailila Abdula added.
The project has also distributed 32 tons of certified inbred seeds to more than 400 farmers in Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija. It has been training project implementers, seed analysts, inspectors, seed growers, and farmers since 2013.
Minister Kwon Won Jick from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines hopes that the facility will increase the efficiency of processing and certification of rice seeds in the country and help more farmers have an access to high-quality seeds.
The facility was inaugurated by representatives of KOICA, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines, Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA), and the Philippine government.