A Japanese food technology company has introduced to the Philippines the low-protein and ready-to-eat packed rice not just to help meet the demand due to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic but also to address the growing chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the country.
BiotechJp Corp (BTJP), a manufacturer of packed rice using low-protein rice technology, has established a new factory in Tarlac Province with a daily production capacity of 20,000 rice packs.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported BTJP in introducing the low-protein rice technology in the Philippines under the Private Sector Partnership Scheme.
The low-protein rice technology helps delay the progression of CKD and consequently reduces the costs of medical treatments of patients.
“For markets like Japan, the pandemic prompted an increase for packed rice products which is also fueled by consumers resorting to online platforms for convenience and safety,” the BTJP said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) also recognized the benefits that the Japanese technology brings to Filipino farmers by “adding value to their rice products.”
BTJP has also introduced other variants such as ready-to-eat packed rice with a one-year shelf life that makes it ideal for emergency situations.
The Japanese food technology came at a time when the country was reeling from last month’s back-to-back typhoons and torrential rains that left thousands of people in Bicol, Metro Manila, Rizal, Cagayan, Isabela, and other parts of the country without access to basic goods, relying on stocked food supplies and emergency relief packages.
JICA said the Partnership with the Private Sector scheme was intended to share innovations from Japanese companies to help address development problems in their partner countries.
The BTJP project in Tarlac is part of the Rice Revolution 21 program that aims to develop the province’s rice supply chain and is also a partnership with the Yuchengco Group, PhilRice, and Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).