In a landmark initiative to bolster the rice supply chain in the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture (DA) of the Philippines and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and the Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) of the Republic of Korea have commenced the implementation of the Korea’s Official Development Aid (ODA) Project on Improving the Rice Supply Chain and Buffer Stocks in the Philippines. This project, a testament to the longstanding friendship between the two nations, aims to ensure the quality of rice seeds and milled rice for distribution and buffer stocks in the country.
With a total investment of 4.5 million USD over four years, starting from 2023 to 2026, the project is set to enhance the capacity of rice seed distribution. Key components include the establishment of a state-of-the-art warehouse and rice seed processing facility at the PhilRice CES in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, along with warehouses equipped with cold storage and acclimatization rooms at PhilRice field stations in San Mateo, Isabela, and Batac, Ilocos Norte. Additionally, the project will provide essential equipment and office automation supplies to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and National Food Authority (NFA) to optimize operational efficiency.
Moreover, the project will encompass comprehensive capacity building programs, including invitation training programs in Korea, local operational trainings, and information system consulting. These initiatives will facilitate the widespread distribution of government-certified high-quality rice seeds and buffer stocks, contributing to the mitigation of chronic rice shortages and improving overall food security in the country.
In order to foster greater understanding and engagement among stakeholders in the Philippine rice industry, the KRC, the PhilRice and the NFA have jointly organized an Inception Workshop at the NFA Multi-Purpose Hall on June 16, 2023. With the participation of around 50 Filipino experts and stakeholders, this workshop was facilitated by the Global Agriculture Policy Institute and Nature E&T, Korea in collaboration with the Orient Integrated Development Consultants, Inc.
Mr. Byungho Lee, President, KRC who attended the Workshop emphasized their commitment to the Project, ensuring that they will fully fulfill their role and responsibility in improving the quality of rice in the Philippines through this Project and in boosting agricultural cooperation between the two countries.
On behalf of the Global Agriculture Policy Institute (GAPI) and the Orient Integrated Development Consultants Inc. (OIDCI) which have been implementing the Project locally, Dr. Sang Mu Lee stressed the necessity of achieving a successful completion of the Project and expressed his firm commitment to integrate Korea’s rice related technologies in the local context and pursue deeper level of partnership and collaboration in agriculture and rural development within the bilateral context.
The Philippine Rice Supply Chain and Buffer Stocks Project marks a significant stride in strengthening the rice sector and fortifying the nation’s food security. Through fruitful collaboration and technological advancements, this joint endeavor between the Philippines and Korea holds great promise for a more robust and sustainable rice industry in the years to come