LOS  BANOS, LAGUNA  (ANN)— SeedWorks Philippines has started forging partnerships with rice traders and millers as part of its unrelenting commitment to further empower local rice farmers in the countryside.

The agricultural research firm is currently in the initial stage of a program linking its partner-rice farmers with different millers that are willing to buy US 88 palay (unhusked rice produce) ₱1-peso higher compared to average local price. This initiative is paving the way for the distribution of milled US 88 rice in standard 25-kilogram sacks to retailers, which in turn sell the commodity to end consumers.

“SeedWorks is linking farmers who seek higher price for their US 88 harvests with millers that prefer premium-quality rice,” said SeedWorks Philippines Brand Manager, Raj Nuñez. “Most millers find it a win-win deal because US 88 palay mills into long-grain rice, which is also perfectly soft when cooked—ideal for the meticulous rice consumers.”

Uplifting quality of lives

The company also provides specially designed milled rice sacks to millers and traders. The commodity is branded as US 88 Premium Quality Rice (classified as hybrid Dinorado), which is fast gaining popularity in the market because of its highly appreciated qualities.

This strategy is aimed at further helping uplift the quality of lives of local rice farmers who are constantly facing challenges. US 88 has been proven to significantly increase yield up to about 15 metric tons per hectare (in optimal conditions) from the national average of just 4.08 metric tons (based on December 2020 data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority).

It comes at a time when Filipino rice farmers are also bearing the impact of the influx of imported rice with the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) or the Republic Act 11203 that was enacted in the first quarter of 2019. RTL removes the limits on the quantity of imported rice entering the local market—a measure by the government to bring down rice grain prices in the country.

Promising move

“We are supporting the country’s goal of self-sufficiency with high-yielding varieties that we have. At the same time, our company supports and empowers our farmers by helping them sell their harvests at a much better price,” explained by Carlos Saplala, President of SeedWorks Philippines.

This strategic program is currently rolling out in Mindanao, Central Luzon, and Bicol. SeedWorks Philippines will soon bring it to other regions.

So far, most retailers who have started selling US 88 milled rice are raving about the good reception of their customers to the rice variety. “Aside from its long grain and soft quality when cooked, an ideal feedback I get is that the cooked rice doesn’t easily spoil, which helps prevent food wastage that we all don’t want to happen in these times of crisis,” said Josiena Palacios, a rice retailer who is among the first ones to resell US 88 rice in Aglayan Public Market in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. Another retailer, the owner of Harveys Store in Vintar, Valencia City still in Bukidnon said, US 88 is not hard to sell because of its impressive quality. (Agricullure News Network)

About SeedWorks Philippines

SeedWorks Philippines is an agricultural research firm focusing on the development and distribution of hybrid varieties of rice, vegetables and sweet corn that optimally grow even in adverse climate, weather, and soil conditions, producing higher yields to benefit farmers and consumers.