South Korea will allot $4.5 million or about P250 million in official development aid to enhance rice seed distribution in the country.
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that South Korea will fund the construction of a rice seed processing facility and warehouse at the Central Experiment Station of PhilRice in Nueva Ecija as part of the country’s aim to attain a higher level of rice supply.
“These facilities help ensure the high quality and viability of seeds and reduce grain losses. Seed distribution is also fast-tracked with these facilities,” PhilRice Head of Business Development Division Fidela Bongat said.
Storage facilities will also be established in PhilRice stations in Ilocos Norte and Isabela through the project that intends to improve the rice supply chain in the country.
Bongat said PhilRice produces foundation and registered seeds, which are distributed to research and production centers of the Department of Agriculture (DA), state universities and colleges, and seed growers.
Aside from funding the facilities, South Korea will also provide hardware and software for the PhilRice-Rice Seed Information System (RSIS) and to the National Food Authority (NFA)
Training will also be provided for rice farmers to enhance their knowledge on modern rice production.
RSIS is an information and communication technology-based platform for collecting, consolidating, and disaggregating near real-time rice seed production and distribution data at the municipal, provincial and national levels for sound decision-making of policymakers and key agencies.
To ensure and promote an efficient project implementation, proponents including South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, DA and NFA held a meeting last Friday to present the goals, objectives and approach of the project.
The Korea Rural Community Corp., Global Agricultural Policy Institute, Nature E&T Korea and Orient Integrated Development Consultants Inc. also organized the meeting.
Source : Manila Times