Bago City Constructs P62.5M
Rice Processing Center
A unit of rice processing center (RPC) worth P62.5 million was constructed in Negros Occidental. This RPC located in Brgy. Tabunan, Bago City was completed November last year and started its operation in September after the first cropping season.
The RPC is equipped with three mechanical dryers, a multi-pass rice mill, and a biomass-fed furnace. Each dryer has a capacity of 240 bags of palay per load and this RPC can input 200 bags per hour for milling.
Its 450-square meter warehouse has 10,000 bags storage capacity and a water supply system.
The facility was put up in order to reduce postharvest losses and to increase the milling recovery rate from 58 percent to 68 percent of palay. It will cater to more than 18,000 farmers and 15, 000 ha rice production areas in Negros Occidental. To be initially operated by the provincial government, the RPC will set a milling rate lower than the prevailing commercial rate of P75.00 to P80.00 per bag.
Philippine Center for Post harvest and Mechanization (PhilMech) found out that 5.86 percent of production losses occurred during drying and 5.52 percent during milling process. This RPC aims to reduce the losses from 16 percent to 8 percent.
Aside from the reduction of postharvest losses, the RPC also aims to maintain the production of quality grains and to provide better access to local farmers in milling their produce.
As of last month, there are already 65 RPCs completed nationwide, more than 70 are ongoing and 35 others are in the pre-construction stage. In Negros Occidental, there are also other two completed projects—in Magallon Cadre, Moises Padilla and in Brgy. Bagroy, Bago City—which will operate beginning September. Other three RPCs are being constructed in the province—in San Enrique, Pontevedra, and in Hinoba-an.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental has provided P141.98 million for the production and post-production equipment and facilities benefitting 263 farmers’ associations since 2011.
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Negros Occidental hopes that the number of RPCs installed in their locality would improve their palay production. Last year, Negros Occidental ranked 10th in the rice production nationwide. /MP