The South Korean government has officially handed to the Pototan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PFMPC) the management and operations of the P200-million rice-processing complex (RPC) in Iloilo.
In a statement, Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 6 Executive Director Larry Nacionales said that the RPC in Barangay Amamaros, Pototan was established to increase the income of farmer beneficiaries by improving the efficiency of their rice post production system through the provision of integrated and modern rice processing facilities and equipment.
Operated since April 2012 by the DA, the Pototan RPC is one of the only four Korean International Cooperation Agency-funded rice-processing complex nationwide. The other three are located in Pangasinan, Bohol and Davao del Sur.
“This Iloilo RPC, owned by DA, Iloilo Provincial Government, and Municipality of Pototan, has been producing quality milled rice, reducing postharvest losses, improving rice distribution system, and maximizing the use of rice by-products,” Nacionales said.
To sustain the growth-oriented enterprise, the PFMPC members were trained last year on how to manage and operate the RPC.
With 4,180 members at present, PFMPC was organized in 1969 and is engaged in rice and farm inputs trading, grocery stores, and lumber and hardware enterprises.
The cooperative has a total asset base of P49 million and has provided P2 million equity for the RPC operations, making PFMPC qualified to take over the management of the facility.
Meanwhile, Alcala also turned over the P7.5-million Agri Pinoy Rice Processing Center 1 (RPC1) to the local government of Barotac Nuevo.
RPC1 aims to reduce postharvest losses by giving access to efficient drying and milling facilities and to increase farmers’ income.
The RPC1 consists of one set of multi-pass rice mill with milling capacity of one ton oer hour at 98-percent purity and minimum milling recovery of 65 percent. It is driven by an independent electric motor.
It also has a 300 square meter warehouse floor space, portable moisture meter for rice and corn, weighing scale with one ton capacity, and one set of re-circulating dryer with six tons capacity equipped with biomass-fed furnace.
RPC1 will benefit more than 200 farmer-beneficiaries and will serve more or less 263 hectares of rice areas.
Compared to single-pass rice mill, RPC1 can increase the milling recovery of rice from 58 percent to 65 percent. It can mill 8 tons a day and can dry 12 tons a day at 8 hours daily operation.
Besides the two RPCs, the Department of Agriculture also turned over P75.29 million worth of farm machineries and implements to various farmers organization and local government units during his visit to the Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center in Jaro, Iloilo City.
The farm machineries turned over composed of 25 units heavy duty four-wheel drive tractor with implements worth P52 million, four units rice combine harvester worth P6.6 million, six units mini four-wheel drive tractor with implements worth P5.3 million, and 50 units pump and engine costing P3.1 million.
Also, seven units of hand tractor with tiller, eight units of thresher, eight units of reaper , four units of hammer mill, five units of corn sheller, three units cassava granulator, three units cassava grater, and two units shredder machine were distributed to various farmers groups in Iloilo.