Another rice processing center opens in Ilocos town

BACARRA, Ilocos Norte — A modern rice processing center (RPC) is now in full swing operation here just in time for the rice harvest season.

Operated by the Bacarra farmers association, the establishment of the Php 16-million worth RPC has been approved in 2014 or two years ago through a grant from the Department of Agriculture (DA) during the time of former DA Secretary Proceso Alcala.

Equipped with a flat bed dryer, farmer-beneficiaries said they would no longer need to use public roads in the absence of communal pavements to dry their produce during the peak of harvest season.

In a formal inauguration attended by Provincial Board member Domingo Ambrocio in his capacity as chair person of the committee on Agriculture of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, he hopes the operation of the facility will be sustained to improve the quality of life of farmers.

In previous years, Bacarra rice farmers particularly those living in flood prone villages were among those hardly hit by typhoons. Should there been a readily available drying facility, the estimated cost of damages could have been minimal.

Next to Piddig town in Ilocos Norte, the Bacarra RPC is among the six modern milling facilities set up in Region 1 to help rural farmers reduce post-harvest losses.

The DA funded about 28 milling facilities nationwide to benefit selected farmer organizations who underwent rigid training and capacity building to operate and maintain the centers.

Under the program initiated by the previous Aquino administration, the government funded 85 percent of the cost of the project and the remaining balance of 15 percent by the recipient.