The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) on Saturday said it has set the establishment of 17 more rice processing systems (RPS) in an effort to help local rice farmers get access to postharvest technologies.
The government agency, which is under the Department of Agriculture (DA), said that it has completed at total of seven RPS as of the end of 2022, with future plans set for postqualification and rebidding activities.
Engineer May Ville Castro, supervising science research specialist at the facility management and field operations division of PHilMech said this was part of their mandate in implementing the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Mechanization Program.
“The first three years of the RCEF-Mechanization Program, or from 2019 to 2021, was focused on distributing machines for production and harvesting technologies at no cost to qualified farmers’ organizations and local government units. These include tractors, tillers, transplanters and combine harvesters, among others,” said Castro.
She added that the next three years of the RCEF-Mechanization Program, which covers 2022 to 2024, should be focused on the distribution of postharvest technologies for drying and milling palay (unmilled rice) to qualified farmers’ organizations and local government units (LGUs).
“This will make the rice farmers actively [participate] in the rice value chain, enabling them to sell milled rice at the wholesale or retail level,” Castro said.
PHilMech said it has set three RPS types to be distributed under the program.
The first is RPS-1, which has a multipass rice mill that has a capacity to process 1.5 tons of palay per hour, and two units of recirculating dryer with a capacity of six tons.
The total cost for this type is P17.5 million, said PHilMech.
RPS-2, which has a total cost of P61.7 million, has a multipass rice mill that has a capacity of two to three tons of palay per hour, and two units of recirculating dryer with a capacity of twelve tons.
Lastly, RPS-3 has a multipass rice mill that can process four to five tons of palay per hour. It also has two units of recirculating dryer with a capacity of 12 tons.
It has a total cost of P72.6 million.
Seven RPS-1 sets were already delivered and installed, to date, with another 15 sets of RPS-1 and two sets of RPS-2 due for delivery and construction.
PHilMech said that postqualification of 14 sets of RPS-2 and five sets of RPS-3 are ongoing, while 24 sets of RPS-1 and four units of RPS-2 are for rebidding.
The RPS are awarded or distributed at no cost to qualified farmers’ associations and LGUs, but recipients are to provide the land and warehouse to house the drying and milling equipment.
PHilMech also trains the recipients on the operation and maintenance of the RPS to assure that those are properly used and serviced. (INQ Alden M. Monzon – @inquirerdotnet)