In-the-News

Private firm pours P1.7 B for rice processing

December 24, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) will partner with a private firm for the development of the rice industry in Leyte as the government looks for other areas that could potentially boost supply of the country’s main staple.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the DA would engage in a partnership with Chen Yi Agventures Inc. following its P1.7-billion investment in modern rice processing complex and farm machinery in Leyte.

French-Italian businessman Francois Patrick Renucci and his wife, Rachel Renucci-Tan, have agreed to work with the DA in developing and turning Leyte into one of the biggest rice production areas of the country.

“The couple, who decided to leave behind all their businesses in France and settle in Leyte right after Yolanda, said the support of the DA of their advocacy would complete their dream of improving the lives of the people of the province through increased rice production,” Piñol said.

The couple established Chen Yi and purchased farm tractors, harvesters, transplanters, including laser-guided field levellers to develop the rice farms in Leyte.

In 2016, they invested P1.7 billion for the construction of a modern fully-automated rice processing complex which they expect to be commissioned by President Duterte in January 2019.

Based on the partnership agreement, the DA will support Chen Yi by providing more farm equipment and extending loan assistance to farmers engaged by the company through a supervised loaning program.

DA-attached agency Philippine Rice Research Institute will also support the program by providing high-yielding seeds of good quality rice varieties.

The Agricultural Training Institute will likewise conduct training for rice farmers to improve farming technology.

Currently, Chen Yi extends loans for seeds at zero interest to farmers in the area, fertilizers at very low interest rates and equipment and machinery services payable upon harvest.

The company has 10 small tractors, several units of transplanters, 10 harvesters and trucks and intends to acquire more to hit their target of a production area of 2,000 hectares by next year.

“With the partnership with the DA, the couple believes that Leyte could be known in the whole country as the producer of high quality rice grown out of compassion and love for the victims of typhoon Yolanda,” Piñol said.

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