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Korea-funded rice processing project cited

BALER, Aurora, Philippines – The Korea International Cooperation Agency said the P130-million rice processing complex (RPC) operated and managed by the provincial government has been a success and bared plans to replicate it in four other provinces.

In a letter to Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Kim In, KOICA resident representative to the Philippines, said the complex is “indeed …a successful project between KOICA and the Aurora provincial government.”

Located in a 1.1-hectare site in Barangay Reserva, the RPC, a state-of-the-art, modern integrated post-production and processing facility funded by a P130-million grant from Korea, was established in early 2007 to help reduce postharvest losses, produce quality rice and increase farmers’ income in the province.

The facility is equipped with a storage house, warehouse, generator house and steel-framed structure with walls of insulated panels. It also serves as a one-stop service center providing training, leasing of large farming machines, non-stop drying and milling, purchasing of wet paddy rice and selling of high-quality milled rice.

The high marks accorded by the KOICA on the RPC, Kim said, was contained in the recently concluded ex-post evaluation report. Earlier, the commissioned KOICA evaluation team, led by Dr. Soonchul Ko, reviewed the project on the basis of the following criteria : relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.

Kim cited that the RPC is receiving recognition due to its high-quality produce known as “KOICE-Aurora Rice.”

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He said that the Department of Agriculture has signified interest to replicate the Aurora-RPC in the provinces of Iloilo, Davao, Bohol and Pangasinan using it as the model rice processing and milling center in the country.

 Sagrado Hernandez, RPC project manager, said the project contributed significantly to food security by way of local procurement and local distribution for local consumption. He said that 43,769 bags of palay worth P33.7 million and 24,159 bags of milled rice amounting to P30.57 million were procured and distributed in the RPC.

Angara-Castillo said the RPC has created a huge impact on rice production in the province.

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