Capitol takes over rice processing complex ops

By June 6, 2021Business

THE provincial government will start operating and manage the rice processing complex (RPC) in Sta. Barbara town that had ceased operation for seven years.

The turnover was made official through the signing of the memorandum of agreement signed by Gov. Amado Espino III and the Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Espino said P400 million worth of palay that will be bought from farmers in the province will be processed in the RPC and sold to the market.

“Rest assured that all profit will go to the farmers and not to the provincial government,” Espino said in his speech.

He added that rice facilities will also be constructed in Mabini and San Quintin towns with P100-million funding.

“So we will have rice processing in the eastern, central, and western Pangasinan,” he said.

Espino said after the procurement process, a team that will qualify and quantify palays that will be bought from the different farmers in the entire province will be formed.

He said the RPC has been non-operational for a long time, which prompted them to ask the DA for approval to run the complex.

Provincial Agriculturist Dalisay Moya said DA will remain as co-owner of the facility so the provincial government can request financial assistance from the national government for its rehabilitation.

The RPC used to be managed and operated by the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), a former corporate arm of the DA, and its operations stopped in 2014 after it was dragged into the multi-billion-peso pork barrel fund scam.

“With a milling capacity of 25 tons/hour and drying capacity of 1000 bags of wet rice per eight-hour shift, the objective is to improve the efficiency of the rice post-production system in the province through reduction of post-harvest losses, enhancement in the quality of milled rice, improvement of the distribution system, and maximization of rice byproduct,” she added.

The RPC also has mechanical drying and milling machineries, storage, and marketing facilities.

The RPC was established through a grant from the South Korean government implemented by the Korea International Cooperation Agency. (Jerick Pasiliao)

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