SL Agritech bullish on local rice production

Published July 18, 2022, 3:19 PM

by MB Technews

SL Agritech Corp. plant in Talavera, Nueva Ecija constructed in 2012

Food stability in the Philippines has been a continuing problem that is projected to lead to a food crisis by the end of this year. Recently, the National Economic and Development Authority, mentioned that rising prices in rice products paired with the ‘low profitability’ in farming has shown a pressing dilemma in the agricultural sector. With this, it is inevitable for public and private entities to work hand-in-hand in supporting the industry through sustainable initiatives that will help our farmers while stabilizing the prices of rice in the market.

SL Agritech Corporation, the pioneer in local hybrid rice production, has been on top of addressing the country’s food stability problem by championing several solutions in pushing for a resilient agri-sector. To help create a more rice-sufficient country, the company continues to invest in research and development of hybrid rice varieties to improve rice production.

At present, SL Agritech continues to support thousands of farming communities through several agri-programs geared toward doubling or even tripling the farmers’ harvest to meet the growing demand for rice while also increasing their income.

SL Agritech CEO, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong shares, “As a country that is heavy on rice consumption, I believe that our technology is capable of meeting our country’s growing demand for rice. My goal, not just for SL Agritech but also for the country, is to enable the utilization of hybrid rice technology that would boost our rice production while increasing the net income of our farmers.”

Hybrid rice seeds: The future of rice production

As the country’s biggest hybrid rice producer, SL Agritech launched the Masaganang Ani 300 program in 2020 which aims to increase the country’s rice productivity. Through the program, farmers were able to produce 300 to 339 cavans of rice, equivalent to more than 15 metric tons of rice production using hybrid rice seeds.

Prior to the adoption of hybrid rice technology in the country, Nueva Ecija, considered as the rice granary of the Philippines, can only produce 870,000 metric tons of rice annually with an average yield of 3.6 tons per hectare.

With the use of hybrid rice seeds, their yield increased to an average of 4.81 tons per hectare which encourages other farmers to follow suit. To date, their annual palay production is more than two million tons with an average yield of 6.9 tons/hectare.

Hybrid rice seeds are bred from two (2) very different parents, known to display “hybrid vigor” and are expected to out-yield inbred rice varieties. In 2000, SL Agritech proudly discovered the high yielding SL-8H seed variety

Since then, other SL varieties have been introduced with new yields ranging from 7-15 mt/ha that thrives even at the most unfavorable climatic condition.

Echoing the CEO’s vision for the company, Michelle Lim-Gankee, Executive Vice President of SL Agritech shares, “Our team is committed to pioneering research and development initiatives with the hope to continuously discover high-yielding rice varieties that would meet the demand of our countrymen while uplifting the lives of our farmers. With these varieties, we are one step ahead of battling the threat of food shortages because farmers can then produce rice crops with robust panicles and stems, which eventually translates to a higher yield.”

SL Agritech strives to transform the agricultural landscape

At present, SL Agritech has more than 3,000 people in its research, production, and administrative facilities located in Makati, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac and Davao. The company is also heavily involved in milled rice production through its network of contract growers that exclusively grow Doña Maria® Premium Quality Rice and Willy Farms® Rice.

Among their more popular packaged rice products are the Jasponica Rice – a variety that combines the aroma of Jasmine rice and the softness of Japanese rice; another is Willy Farms Premium Dinorado – a more affordable variety that boasts as a “special all occasion rice” lauded for its versatility. SL Agritech also offers a healthier alternative to white rice – a wide selection of brown rice like the Jasponica Brown Rice and the Miponica Brown Rice.

SL Agritech’s, main goal is to help improve the lives of rice farmers while addressing the country’s rice sufficiency goal thru hybrid rice seed technology.

To learn more about SL Agritech’s company profile, affiliated brands, and agricultural innovations, you may visit their website at www.sl-agritech.com.

 
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