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South Cotabato complex provides post-harvest service

(The Philippine Star) - January 8, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A rice processing complex (RPC) that cost P32 million to put up is now providing the post harvest needs of 5,000 farmers cultivating 10,000 hectares of rice lands in the province of South Cotabato and neighboring Soccskargen region, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced yesterday.

The RCP situated in Barangay Ambalgan, municipality of Santo Niño in South Cotabato, has biomass-fed dryers, a rice mill and a storage area for grains.

The facility is capable of milling 1.5 tons for palay (unhusked rice) per hour and each of its dryers can accommodate 600 sacks of palay in an eight- hour operation. Each sack weighs 50 kilograms.

“The RPC III is now more than ready to cater to the milling needs of rice growers not just here in South Cotabato, but also of nearby municipalities,” said DA Region 12 executive director Amalia Jayag-Datukan.

The RPC was built under the DA’s Agri-Pinoy Rice Program. Around P23.7 million was allotted for the construction of grain processing and storage facilities while P6 million was set aside for capital operations, P1.5 million for capacity building and P1 million for administrative and management needs.

The Agri Pinoy Rice program is one of the key initiatives of the Agriculture department under the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) for increasing production of rice. Services provided under the rice program include production support, irrigation development services, and infrastructure and postharvest development services under which construction of RPCs fall.

RPCs are constructed in strategic palay production areas that can greatly contribute to national supply of the staple grain.

The new RPC in Barangay Ambalgan has a milling recovery rate as high as 72 percent, higher than an average palay milling rate of 65 percent, therefore lowering postharvest losses significantly,

The facility is managed by Koronadal-based Firmus Farm Service Cooperative (FFSC) along with the local government of Santo Niño, the National Food Authority (NFA) and the DA Region 12 Office.

FFSC charges a milling fee of P67 per 50-kilogram sack of palay and a drying fee of P33 per 50-kilogram sack of palay.

 “Palay production in South Cotabato is more than sufficient, but we lack milling facilities. It is also disheartening to note that because farmers do not have easy access to storage, drying and milling facilities, traders buy palay from rice growers at very low price and sell milled rice at much higher amount,” said FFSC chairman Jaime Junsay.

Apart from serving as a rice trading center for the rice-producing municipalities of South Cotabato as well as neighboring provinces, the RPC may also serve as a buying and storage facility of the NFA.

AGRI PINOY RICE AGRI-PINOY RICE PROGRAM AMALIA JAYAG-DATUKAN BARANGAY AMBALGAN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FIRMUS FARM SERVICE COOPERATIVE PALAY RICE SANTO NI SOUTH COTABATO
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