Sorsogon to cut post-harvest losses
By Benilda Recibido
SORSOGON CITY --- The provincial government of Sorsogon is establishing a rice processing center (RPC) to provide farmers with a drying facility and processing center.
This initiative is part of Governor Edwin Hamor’s 7K flagship program, which aims to improve the standard of living of Sorsoganons.
7K stands for Kabuhayan (livelihood), Kadunungan (education), Kalusugan (health), Kagandahan (beauty), Kalinisan (cleanliness), Kalikasan (environment), and Katrangkilohan (peace and order).
The RPC is inspired by the Department of Agriculture’s Rice Banner Program, which aims to improve the efficiency of the rice post-production system by reducing post-harvest losses and improving the quality of milled rice, as well as enhancing the distribution and marketing system, and improving the income of small rice farmers.
It is expected to reduce post-harvest losses and provide access to efficient drying and milling facilities. It has a multi-pass rice mill that can pound 1.5 tons per hour and two units of circulating/mechanical dryer with a capacity of six tons per batch.
Sorsogon Provincial Agriculturist Ma. Teresa Destura said the provincial government collaborated with the local government unit (LGU) of Juban and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) to establish the RPC.
PHilMech will provide the Rice Processing System (RPS) facilities under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Mechanization Program, while the provincial government and LGU of Juban will cover 60% and 40% of the project cost, respectively.
Juban’s RPC has machineries such as milling facilities that can pound 1.5 tons/hour and mechanical dryer with six-tons capacity/batch. (Photo: Provincial Agriculture Office)
The LGU-Juban partnered with the provincial government in the establishment of the center, considering that farming is the primary source of income in the municipality, and most of the land area is planted with palay.
Destura said PhilMech has started setting up four units of circulating dryer with a generator set per unit in the RPC, which is located in Barangay Cogon, Juban.
Milling facilities and transformers will also soon be delivered.
Before full operation, training for workers will be provided to ensure that all facilities run correctly and are well maintained.
Once fully operational, the RPC will preserve the quality of harvested paddy and ensure at least 65% milling recovery and the production of high-grade quality milled rice.
Farmers with one-hectare farmland and below are the target beneficiaries of this initiative.
“The provincial government will buy the harvest at a higher price compared to other traders under the “Bakal Paroy, Tinda Bugas” (Buy Palay, Sell Rice) program,” Destura said.
This will reduce the dependence of small and marginal farmers on private/commercial millers, thus improving their income.
She further said, the milled rice will be sold to community facilities like hospitals and jails and serve in part as a buffer stock of the province for the community’s staple food requirement during calamities or disasters.
Moreover, the town of Gubat is working on the lot preparation for its RPC, while LGU Castilla is in the process of finding a good site to establish the center. (PIA5/Sorsogon)