Fertile Ground

DA to Upgrade Rice Processing Facilities

By improving rice processing facilities across the country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) hopes to reduce postharvest losses in rice. Sounds good? It definitely is, especially for our dear farmers.

The guidelines governing rice processing facilities have been revised by the agency. The guidelines are now intended to improve rice production efficiency, reduce postharvest losses, and improve milled rice quality.  Improving distribution, marketing systems, and trying to maximize the use of rice byproducts are also included in the agenda. What’s in it for our farmers? Well, with the revision of guidelines together with the existing rice tariffication law, these will make the life of farmers a lot easier.

The Fine Print

The revision is contained in a memorandum order issued “to ensure efficient implementation, coordination, and delivery of integrated support services that will optimize investments in [rice processing centers] under the Rice Banner Program,” according to the DA.

Here comes the juicy part – all of the new investments will be financially backed by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund. What are these new investments you say? Well, we have the improvement of existing rice processing facilities together with the building of an additional warehouse. On top of that, we also have the provision of new machinery and much-needed support for the rice processing system.

The DA stated that it aims to provide farmers access to palay drying facilities, particularly during adverse weather conditions. This will assist in preserving the quality of harvested paddy and accomplish a minimum of 65% milling recovery and the production of high-quality milled rice.

It will also give rice producers immediate access to cutting-edge rice milling facilities that can generate premium, well-milled, and regular-milled rice based on consumer tastes. Finally, it will solidify farmer’s organizations’ technical, financial, entrepreneurial, and managerial capacities.

Better Harvest

Giving our rice processing facilities a makeover will only yield better farming production. Plus, we get to make our farmers happy at the same time. In this economy, it’s the least we can do for this vulnerable sector. It’s a win-win situation for the government, the farmers, and all of us who benefit from more affordable rice! Congratulations, DA!

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