The fourth and last rice processing center (RPC) to be completed under a project that received generous funding support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) was turned over to the Philippine government on Friday.
The RPC in Sinaragan, Matanao, Davao del Sur, was completed late last year, and was turned over to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Rex Bingabing, DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) executive director, said that the completion of the RPC in Davao del Sur is a big step in helping reduce postharvest losses of rice farmers in the province.
“The four RPCs established with funding support from Koica is among the most modern rice processing facilities in the country, and we are thankful to the Korean government for the assistance they have given to this project,” he added.
PhilMech is the proponent of the project to establish four state-of-the-art RPCs with funding support from Koica.
Each RPC will benefit rice farmers within a 50-kilometer radius. For the Davao del Sur RPC, rice farmers in the following localities will be served: Bansalan, Digos City, Hagonoy, Kiblawan, Magsaysay, Malalag, Matanao, Padada, Santa Maria and Sulop.
The other completed RPCs are in Tebang East, Santa Barbara, Pangasinan; Amamaros, Pototan, Iloilo; and Poblacion, Pilar, Bohol.
The RPC in Iloilo was completed early last year and turned over to the government on March 16, 2012. In September 2011, the RPC in Pangasinan was turned over to the government and started commercial operations in the same month last year. The Bohol RPC was completed and turned over to the government in 2011.
Koica granted a total of P649 million for the establishment of the four RPCs, while the Philippine government allocated a counterpart funding of P136.45 million.
Each RPC is equipped with five mechanical dryers, multipass state-of-the-art milling facility equipped with color sorter, length grader and automatic bagger. Its storage facility can accommodate 22,000 bags.