PhilMech to focus on distribution of rice processing facilities until 2024

The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization said it will focus on providing rice millers and other postharvest facilities to farmer-beneficiaries during the remaining years of the rice competitiveness enhancement fund (RCEF).

PhilMech said it will fast-track the distribution of rice processing systems (RPS) to improve the rice sector’s productivity as part of its mandate under the rice trade liberalization (RTL) law.

“As of the end of 2022, PhilMech has completed a total of seven RPS, and has set the construction of another 17 RPS. Remaining targets are set for post-qualification and rebidding activities,” the attached agency of the Department of Agriculture said in a statement.

PhilMech said the remaining three years of the RCEF mechanization component would be focused on the distribution of RPS to reduce postharvest losses in the rice sector.

The agency noted that the first three years of the RCEF mechanization component focused on the distribution of production and harvesting technologies, such as tractors, tillers, transplanters and combined harvesters, among others.

“The next three years of the RCEF-Mechanization Program, or from 2022 to 2024, should be focused on the distribution of postharvest technologies for drying and milling palay (unmilled rice) also to qualified farmers’ organization and LGUs [local government units],” PhilMech’s Supervising Science Research Specialist at the Facility Management and Field Operations Division Engr. May Ville B. Castro said.

“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.”

PhilMech said it has three types of RPS under its mechanization programs that vary depending on the capacity of the rice mills.

The RPS-1 is a multi-pass rice mill with a capacity of 1.5 metric tons per hour and two units of recirculating dryer with a capacity of 6 metric tons, which is worth P17.5 million.

The P61.7-million RPS 2, meanwhile, has a 2- to 3-metric ton per hour capacity with two units of recirculating dryer with a capacity of 12 metric tons.

Lastly, the RPS 3 has a capacity of 4 to 5 metric tons per hour with two units of recirculating dryer with a capacity of 12 metric tons. It costs about P72.6 million.

“To date, seven sets of RPS 1 were already delivered and installed. Another  15 sets of RPS 1 and two sets of RPS 2 are due for delivery and construction,” PhilMech said.

“Post-qualification of 14 sets of RPS 2 and five sets of RPS 3 are ongoing. And lastly, for rebidding are 24 sets of RPS 1 and four units of RPS 2.”

Under the RTL law or Republic Act 11203, the annual guaranteed P10-billion RCEF program was created which would run for six years from 2019 to 2024. Under the law, half of the RCEF funds or P5 billion will be directly managed by the PhilMech for the distribution of free machinery to eligible rice farmers and cooperative-beneficiaries.

Date: 02-Jan-2023