The Korean Government reaffirmed its commitment in helping the Philippines achieve rice self-sufficiency and food security during the July 19 inauguration ceremony of the US$3.25 M Rice Processing Complex (RPC) in Matanao, Davao del Sur. The ceremony was attended by Korean Ambassador LEE Hyuk, DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, KOICA Vice President HAN Choong Sik, and Vice Governor Aileen Almendras.
The RPC is a “one-stop service center” equipped with state-of-the-art, post-harvest facilities and technologies that will improve the efficiency of rice production, milling, drying and storage thereby reducing post-harvest losses and enhancing rice quality. The complex, with a total area of 10,000 square meters, has a drying capacity of 3,600 metric tons per year, a milling capacity of 3 MT or an equivalent of 60 cavans per hour, a milling recovery of 65% and a storage capacity of 22,000 bags.
In his message, Ambassador LEE noted his country’s recognition of the importance of agriculture and rural development. “Just like the four RPCs we previously inaugurated, this facility emphasizes the primacy Korea puts on agriculture. More importantly, it represents what the Korean government and people deeply care about – the alleviation of poverty and hunger and the promotion of economic growth,” he said.
KOICA Vice President HAN mentioned that the success of the partnership is built on the belief that agriculture is the bedrock of the Philippine economy. “We are now more than ever committed to continue and steadily increase our development assistance to the sector ranging from irrigation, rice production, seafood processing, agro-industrial development, and livestock improvement. These initiatives will surely contribute to the Philippine government’s goal of inclusive growth and poverty reduction,” he said.
The RPC project was made possible through a US$13 M grant from the Korean government. It is being implemented by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the local governments of the project sites. Aside from Davao del Sur, the Korean Government has established RPCs in Aurora, Pangasinan, Bohol and Iloilo.