THE Board of Investments (BoI) approved on March 15 the application of SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) as a producer of hybrid rice seeds and by-product (palay) under the agriculture/agribusiness and fishery listing of the current Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).
Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo on Tuesday welcomed the registration of the project, saying it will create more jobs and income opportunities for farmers in Mindanao, specifically those in the Davao region.
Given the country’s limited land to expand rice production hectarage, using hybrid seeds which increase farmers’ yield rather than conventional or regular seeds, is an excellent approach to further increase rice production, he said.
The P450-million project is located in Matanao, Davao del Sur. Its hybrid rice, seed production (nine million kilos a year) and palay (1.6 million a year) will be sold to local farmers. Commercial operations begin this month, employing about 7,000 people, including farm workers.
Hybrid rice technology is recognized as a key approach in increasing rice productivity in the country and project proponents from both the public and private sectors have already introduced various hybrid rice seed varieties.
To further sustain rice production, SLAC is concentrating on hybrid seed production, particularly for the SL-8H hybrid rice seed.
“SL-8H has proven to be productive in terms of yield versus other hybrid rice seeds in the market with a potential yield of 8 to 18 tons and a record-yield of 17 tons per hectare. With its resounding success, some
Asian countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia have adopted the SL-8H hybrid rice seeds technology,” the company said.
The company has three hybrid rice and hybrid seed production sites in the country which are registered with the BoI. These processing facilities are in Sta. Cruz, Laguna; Lupon, Davao Oriental; and Talavera, Nueva Ecija.
SLAC was established in September 2000 under the stewardship of the Sterling Paper Group of Companies.
Although a relative newcomer in the rice industry, the company has excelled in the local and international markets. It is an ISO-certified rice company and is considered the biggest domestic hybrid rice seed company.