The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech), the local government of Maramag, Bukidnon, Central Mindanao University (CMU), and the National Food Authority (NFA) inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the establishment of the Rice Processing System (RPS) 2 under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program on February 22, 2022, in Maramag, Bukidnon.

The RPS-2 is equipped with one unit of multi-stage rice mill and two units of recirculating dryers worth around Php60M. However, since the law does not allow infrastructure development under RCEF, PHilMech encourages local government units (LGUs) or progressive farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) to build warehouses as counterparts for the provision of free drying and milling facilities.

Director Dr. Baldwin G. Jallorina of PHilMech who graced the MOA signing sees RPS-2 as a level-up intervention that can address key problems of small farmers.

“RPS 2 is the next level intervention of the RCEF Mechanization Program because it can potentially solve problems on the lack of accessible drying and milling facilities for the small farmers. This lack has forced most of the farmers to sell their produce undried, thereby creating less to just break-even income for our farmers,” Dr. Jallorina explained.

“With these kinds of facilities from RCEF and with the counterpart warehouse of the beneficiary, we can help more farmers in this area to potentially sell dried palay, if not, milled rice to the market, providing better income for them and their families,” he emphasized.

In a long run, the director sees the mechanized grain drying facilities and high-efficiency rice mills from RCEF as the key to curbing postharvest losses on farmers’ produce, thereby increasing their yield and income.

The LGU-Maramag as the beneficiary is among the stakeholders of the rice industry.

The CMU will manage and operate the operation of the facilities while the NFA has an existing area, facilities and structure within the Central Mindanao University, Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon which, a portion thereof, is willing to allocate for the use of the beneficiary for the establishment of the RPS 2.

These partners have expressed their gratitude to PHilMech and the program for making it possible for the farmers in the area.

This is the very first MOA signing for the distribution of drying and milling facilities under RCEF.

Article by Jett Molech G. Subaba