LINGAYEN--- Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. together with officials from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG) and other Rice Processing Complex (RPC) personnel arrived last week from South Korea after undergoing a week-long training and orientation from Korean technology experts for the establishment of the Modern Integrated Rice Processing and Milling Complex in the province.
The training seminar is part of the Korean government’s program grant to train and provide technical know-how to personnel who will operate the RPC being constructed in Sta. Barbara through the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
The Philippine delegation received lectures and participated in discussions on Post Harvest Technology of Rice, Domestic Distribution and Market Tour, Rice Research and Development and Rice Policy, Ways of Increasing Production Yield and Keeping Rice Quality.
The training and orientation also included study visits and field trips to RPC equipment and laboratory, a visit to Shin Heung Steel Corporation, Cheongju Early Printing Museum tour, environmentally-friendly agriculture tour, Cheonwon Oksan RPC, Anseong RPC and Korean Folk Village tour.
Nestor Batalla, supervising agriculturist of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist who was part of the provincial team, said the training and seminar gave them various insights on how to manage and operate the RPC and personally saw the latest Korean technologies.
As this developed, Gov. Espino said the provincial government and DA who will operate the rice processing facility are now gearing up for its near completion as plans for the operational management of the RPC are now being undertaken.
The RPC which is expected to complete construction in November this year was established through a P160-million grant from KOICA. OPAG said that at present, 70 percent of the civil and structural works of the complex has been completed.
Equipped with efficient and affordable drying, milling and processing facilities, the rice processing complex is expected to boost Pangasinan’s agriculture, increase farmers’ income and improve their living conditions, reduce post harvest losses and produce high quality milled rice.
The state-of-the-art facility will also provide modernized rice production facilities, enhance the international competitiveness of rice produce in the Philippines and strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the governments of the Philippines and Korea.
Pangasinan is among the four provinces chosen by the Korean government for the RPC grant. Other provinces benefitting from the program are the provinces of Iloilo, Bohol and Davao del Sur. (PIO/Angeline D. Villanueva)