DA opens P81.2-M projects in Caraga-A A +A
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
THE Department of Agriculture opened four big-ticket agricultural infrastructure projects worth P81.2 million in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, recently, including what could be the country’s first rice mill with parboiling facility.
Representing Secretary Proceso Alcala, Assistant Secretary Edilberto De Luna of the Agri-Pinoy National Rice Program led the inauguration and turnover of P7.3-million rice mill and parboiling plant recently in Purok Sunrise, Buena Gracia, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur to a farmers’ group called Agusanon Para sa Bag-ong Pilipino, Inc. (Agus Pinoy).
At least 1,500 local farmers are expected to benefit from the project.
Parboiling is a process that involves soaking and then precooking the paddy rice. Thus, the facility will help improve milling recovery of the grain during deshelling and polishing, aside from improving its nutritional quality.
It will also help farmers reduce postharvest losses during rainy seasons as they can directly bring their wet palay to the plant for drying.
DA is proposing a similar facility in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said De Luna, who is concurrently the national coordinator for corn.
In Barangay Calagdaan, Cantilan and Brgy. Patong-patong, Madrid, both in Surigao del Sur, two rice processing centers with a combined price tag of P30.5 million – P16.5 milion for Cantilan RPC and P14 million for Madrid RPC – were also opened, each of which has a milling capacity of 1.2 tons per hour.
An estimated 3,000 farmers tilling a total of 5,000 hectares of rice lands will benefit from the projects.
Both facilities feature drying and storage components, and a warehouse where grains can be stored during rainy days or whenever there is inclement weather.
Farmer beneficiaries – led by Mr. Magnao Sarim of Pabantaba Association for the Madrid RPC – thanked the government through DA for choosing them to be the recipient of the projects designed to boost farmers’ income through reduced postharvest losses and production of high quality grain. Recipient of the Cantilan RPC is the Tuyake Pederoid Domoyog (TUPEDO) Irrigators Association.
The two facilities sit on donated lands by the local government units of Madrid and Cantillan. Primary fund source was DA Regional Field Unit 13.
Other project cooperators were the National Food Authority (NFA) and Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech). (DA)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 03, 2014.