LEADING hybrid rice producer SL Agritech Corp. is set to build its “biggest” rice facility in the country, which will be located in a seven-hectare piece of land in San Victoria, Tarlac, in order to meet the growing demand for its products.
Company chairman and chief executive officer Henry Lim Bon Liong said the rice mill, which would cost about P300-P500 million, is expected to be fully operational this year.
“We are negotiating for the property already. It can be completed within the next eight to 10 months,” Bon Liong said during the listing ceremony of its P2-billion commercial paper issuance on April 13.
According to Bon Liong, the project, which will be funded by proceeds from the company’s debt offering, is expected to double SL Agritech’s production capacity to 500,000 bags, reaching an estimated 20,000 hectares planted with hybrid-rice seeds.
He added that SL Agritech will use its own parent seeds in producing SL-8H hybrid rice seed. SL-8H is the company’s leading hybrid variety with a potential yield of at least 8 tons per hectare and a record yield of 17 tons per hectare.
Furthermore, Bon Liong said the company is targeting to further expand its rice mill facilities in the country.
“We need to fast track because the demand is getting big,” he said.
As of date, SL Agritech has four hybrid rice and hybrid seed production sites operating in the country which are located in Sta. Cruz, Laguna; Lupon, Davao Oriental; Talavera, Nueva Ecija; and Matanao, Davao del Sur.
Last year, the company established its newest rice mill facility in Davao del Sur, which covers 50,000 ha to 100,000 ha of land, resulting in incremental production of 750 metric tons to 1,500 MT of seeds.
The company has various partnerships for hybrid rice seed production abroad including in India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Cambodia.
SL Agritech is the only Philippine producer of SL-8H hybrid rice seeds with fully integrated operations, holding 70 percent of the total market share of the hybrid variety in the country. It offers rice, hybrid rice seed, agri-chem, and corn products. The company distributes premium rice products under the brand names “Doña Maria”, “Cherry Blossom” and “Willy Farms.”