OFW saved for his farm

Manila Bulletin - Agriculture News

Published on Thursday, July 11, 2013
By: Zac B. Sarian

FORMER OFW AT RICE HARVEST FESTIVAL – Rolando Acain (second from left) is a former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who had the wisdom to save his dollar earnings so he can buy his dream rice farm. A chemical engineer, he worked for more than 10 years as materials engineer for foreign construction companies which were engaged in road construction in Indonesia, Uganda, Tanzania and India. He is shown here during a rice harvest festival with, from left: Dr. Frisco Malabanan, SL Agritech chairman and CEO Henry Lim Bon Liong, Dr. Santiago Obien and Ricardo Buenaventura of the Nagkakaisang Magsasaka Agricultural Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Tabacao, Talavera, Nueva Ecija.

People who know how to save become economically well-off much faster than those who don’t save at all.  Much more so, if they know how to invest what they save.

One former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who knew how to save is 72-year-old Rolando Acain who now grows hybrid rice on 18 hectares in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija. He bought those 18 hectares, a few hectares at a time, with the dollars he earned while working overseas.

Rolando is a chemical engineer who worked for more than 10 years for foreign companies that were engaged in road construction. For six years, he was in Indonesia as materials engineer for an Italian construction company. He saved all his $1,800 monthly salary and spent only his housing and living allowances while abroad with his wife.

For two years he was next stationed in Uganda and then another year in Tanzania, doing the same job but with a higher salary. Just the same, he saved his monthly income for a farming project he had always dreamed of.

His last stop was a five-year stint with an American construction company in India. He also saved his dollar earnings so he could buy more farm land. At last in 2003, he felt it was time to give up working abroad so he can pursue his dream of rice farming in Aliaga, the hometown of his wife, the former Jovita Go.

He quipped that he was born in the little known town of Abutaya, Palawan where there was very little rice production. And so he married someone from the country’s rice granary so he can have all the rice he cared to have.

Today, Rolando is a very happy gentleman farmer who plants nothing but the hybrid rice from SL Agritech during the dry season. The hybrid rice varieties developed by the company headed by Henry Lim Bon Liong are not only high-yielding, they also have superior eating quality. They are considered fancy rice so they command a higher price than the ordinary varieties.

In 2007 Rolando started planting SL-8H, the first commercial hybrid rice developed by SL Agritech. Since then, he has always planted SL-8H or the other hybrids from the same company. On the average, he gets 180 cavans or about 9 tons of grains from one hectare.

One technique he does is to store his harvest in his bodega, waiting for the price to go up when most of the harvest of other farmers have been sold. For this purpose, he has a bodega that can accommodate 3,000 sacks. When the supply of palay is plentiful, the price could be P17 per kilo. At the time of our visit, however, he was selling his palay at P18.50 per kilo. So it pays to wait for the right time to dispose of his harvest.

As a gentleman farmer, Rolando does not have to do the dirty work in the field. He has workers called “Baki” to do the hands-on operations. He has three hand tractors to plow the land. He only supervises the farming, seeing to it that the recommended protocol in growing hybrid rice is followed to the letter. He also does his own research on proper water management, use of sticker in applying pesticide, proper land preparation (the field should be level before planting), and the like.

Rolando has allocated his 18 hectares to different workers or Baki. Some take care of one or two hectares but there are others who are given bigger areas to manage. Just like Nestor Roxas who takes care of 5.5 hectares. Nestor sees to it that the plants under him are fertilized or irrigated at the right time. He sprays pesticide if necessary, and controls the weeds. He also does other chores to ensure a good harvest. In return, he gets a share of the harvest. If they harvest 180 cavans of 50 kilos each, he gets 18 cavans, plus one cavan if it is more than 180 cavans. Last dry season cropping, Nestor got a share of 98 cavans.

During the past wet seasons, Rolando has been planting inbred rice instead of hybrid because no available hybrid rice is suitable for the rainy months. Inbreds, although they yield less, are also profitable to raise. In fact Nestor got a share of 89 cavans from the inbred rice they planted in the last wet season.

Nevertheless, SL Agritech is continuing to develop a hybrid that will perform equally well during the rainy months. In fact, Rolando is trying this season one variety from SL Agritech that is supposed to be suitable for the rainy season. He is trying it in a small area though, just to observe its performance.

Overall, growing hybrid rice is profitable. Rolando said that he spends P50,000 to P52,000 to grow hybrid rice on one hectare. The costs include the seeds (P4,800), land preparation, pulling of seedlings, transplanting, fertilizers, pesticide, irrigation water, harvesting, threshing, drying and hauling. After deducting the palay given as share of the Baki, the net per hectare could still be easily more than P100,000.




Lamoiyan offers 100-hectare land as rice farm for SL Agritech

Manila Standard Today

Published on Wednesday, June 12, 2013
By: Othel V. Campos


Chinese toothpaste maker Lamoiyan Corp. is offering a 100-hectare property for rice field trial and testing to leading hybrid seeds manufacturer SL Agritech Corp.

“We haven’t considered going into commercial rice production yet. But we have a corporate social responsibility to our mute and deaf community by providing them a sure way to eat and a chance to learn farming as a livelihood,” said Lamoiyan chief executive Cecilio Pedro.

Lamoiyan and SL Agritech signed Tuesday an agreement for the planting of several varieties of SL Agritech hybrid seeds starting with a one-hectare of land within the Cavinti, Laguna property to supplement food consumption of the student community in a deaf and mute school within the area.

Lamoiyan will increase the hectarage in the next cropping season to two hectares, enough to feed the entire community.

Pedro said the company planned to include rice farming as a regular activity for the students in all of its 14 centers for the deaf and mute across the country.

He said a portion of the company’s newly-acquired 24-hectare property in Puerto Princesa, Palawan would also be planted to hybrid rice.

SL Agritech under the agreement will provide four varieties of high-yielding, hybrid rice seeds at five kilos of each kind to be planted on Lamoiyan’s Laguna property.

SL Agritech will provide technical assistance to ensure the recommended planting protocol was strictly followed to assure high yield.

SL Agritech is one of the country’s leading private companies engaged in research, development and production of superior hybrid rice seeds.


SL Agritech to supply hybrid rice seeds to Bangladesh

The Philippine Star

Published on Monday, June 03, 2013
By: Czeriza Valencia


MANILA, Philippines - Hybrid rice seeds producer SL Agritech Corp. is in talks with the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture for the supply of seeds for the production of high amylose rice.

The company announced over the weekend that the mission, led by Bangladesh Agricultural Minister Matias Chowdhurry, visited the company’s research center in Brgy. Oogong, Sta. Cruz, Laguna last May 23.

The mission includes representatives from Bangladesh-based Stress Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (Strasa) and officials from different cities and municipalities of Bangladesh like Tangail, Barisal, and Rangpur.

SL Agritech currently supplies SL-8H seeds to Bangladesh. The rice variety which yields 10 metric tons (MT) per hectare has enabled the company to corner 20 percent of the hybrid rice seeds market in Bangladesh.

Bangdesh is interested in expanding its cooperation with SL Agritech through the supply of rice seeds for cultivating high amylose rice which is used to make parboiled rice, a major export commodity of the country.

Parboiled rice is boiled in the husk before milling, raising the nutrition content of the grain. Parboiling originated in India but has spilled over to Bangladesh where is had remained a tradition.

SL Agritech is one of the large hybrid rice producer in the country which also produces the Dona Maria brand of premium rice Miponica and Jasponica.

The company has various partnerships for hybrid rice seed production in Asian nations such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The company has not yet made a commitment to the Bangladeshi government but is studying the possibility of adding a new variety of hybrid rice to be produced in Bangladesh. “We’re very happy their minister of Agriculture visited us. We’re the biggest in hybrid rice seed in Bangladesh,” said SLAC Chairman Henry Lim Bon Liong.

Bangladesh is also exploring use of more stress-tolerant rice varieties like drought tolerance.

Bangladesh, like the Philippines, is now attempting to regain foothold in rice exportation after several years of importing round 500,000 metric tons MT annually. Its imports peaked to 1.48 million MT in 2011.


Gov’t Welcomes Super Hybrid Rice


Published on Monday, 11 April 2013
By: Ellalyn B. De Vera


The Philippines has expressed high hopes in achieving greater rice yield as its collaborates with China on the development of Super Hybrid Rice.

The Super Hybrid Rice from China could help the Philippines access higher yield of 10 tons per hectare at Php 5.00 per kilogram, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

It said the target is possible as the super hybrid rice that the China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center (CNHR-RDC) is developing has already hit a milestone when it reach in 2011 its goal of 13.5 metric tons.

“The Government’s program right now is to show farmers how to earn more because what’s important is how much is lefty in the pocket of farmers, not just how much income they make,” DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said.

He noted that after attaining rice self-sufficiency, the DA’s next move is to help farmers lower production cost. He said the country is already approaching self-sufficiency with only 187,000 metric tons (MT) of imports this year.

Through the Super Hybrid Rice and 10-5 Program (SHR-10-5), the government expressed optimism that the goal to make Filipino farmers rich is achievable, Alcala said.

“We want to have a yield of 10 tons at a cost of Php 5.00 per kilo. That’s the dream. We have a long ongoing cooperation with China through the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT). We’re more aggressive cooperation because China was the that gave us initial programs on hybridization of rice,” Alcala said.

Local rice expert are set to demonstrate the real potential of hybrid raise yield through the Harvest Festival led by SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) in April 15.

Yuan Long Ping, CNHR-RDC director general, foresees the SHR will become a commercial success in the Philippines in three years. Yuan was premiere guest at Philippines’ First Hybrid Rice Congress held last week.

“We will send super hybrid varieties for testing here next year-in dry season. Maybe after three years, our super hybrid rice will be commercialized in the Philippines through our joint efforts. We will strengthen the friendship between Philippines and China through it,” Yuan said.

The Php 5.00 per kilo production cost is possible if farmers will have an average of 10 MT yield at Php 50,000.00 per hectare cost, according to Henry Lim Bon Liong, SLAC Chairman.

SLAC has been collaborating with CNHR-RDC that has resulted in the development of SL-8H hybrid rice, which enabled farmers to yield seven to 10 MT per hectare from their former three to five MT using inbreds.

DA assistant Secretary Dante Delima said the government is supporting the expansion of hybrid rice whose area is targeted to reach to 281,397 hectares in 2013. This will further expanded to 350,000 hectares by 2014.


SL Agritech eyes listing

Manila Standard Today

Published on March 21, 2013
Written by: Anna Leah G. Estrada


Hybrid rice seed producer SL Agritech Inc. plans to hold an initial public offering within the year to raise up to P3 billion, its top executive said Wednesday.

“We are trying to assess at present of we are going to pursue the initial public offering probably by the end of the year. Hopefully next year, we already have it,” SL Agritech president Henry Lim Bon Liong said.

“We want to raise at least P2 billion to P3 billion. The proceeds of the IPO will be used both for seed production and commercial rice production,” Liong added.

Liong said the conduct of the initial public offering would depend on the company’s earnings.


Rice producer in talks with First Pacific


Published on March 21, 2013
Written by: R. J. R. Portillo


HYBRID RICE producer SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) plans to establish a 2,000-3,000 hectare commercial rice plantation in Iloilo this year, a top company official said yesterday, in what could involve a joint venture with Hong Kong-based conglomerate First Pacific Co. Ltd.

“We have identified a site somewhere in Iloilo, but we are still trying to finalize it,” SLAC President and Chief Executive Officer Henry Lim Bon Liong told reporters on the sidelines of the media launch in Quezon City of the First National Hybrid Rice Congress in Quezon that will be held on April 3-5.

He said in a telephone interview later that the venture will add 2,000-3,000 hectares to the company’s current total of 3,400 hectares in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Laguna and Pangasinan.

Mr. Lim declined to say how much rice the company expects to produce from the plantation, saying only that the output “will be used for domestic supply because we want to support the government’s self-sufficiency program.”

Another company official said talks are under way for a partnership with First Pacific on this project.

Asked for comment, Melody M. Del Rosario, vice-president for Corporate Communication of First Pacific unit Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), said via text yesterday that “First Pacific is the one directly involved” and that talks being held are still “preliminary.”

“A joint study is being done on rice production with SL Agritech as a seed supplier,” Ms. Del Rosario said after which she declined to give more details.

The government is currently implementing its Food Staple Sufficiency Program, which aims to gradually reduce rice imports by increasing local production.

This year, the country will import 187,000 metric tons of rice to be used as buffer stock, 62.6% less than last year’s 500,000 MT.

Rice production target for this year is 20.04 million MT, 11.15% more than last year’s actual production of 18.03 million MT.

Incorporated in 2000, SLAC -- whose products include hybrid rice seeds, rice products, insecticide and fertilizer -- plans to conduct an initial public offering this year to raise 2 billion-3 billion to finance expansion of its hybrid rice production.

First Pacific is the parent of local firms Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Philex Mining Corp. and MPIC where the Hong Kong-based conglomerate has 25.6%, 31.2% and 55.9% stakes, respectively.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a minority stake in BusinessWorld


SL Agritech Corp. to push IPO this year

The Manila Times

Published on March 21, 2013


SL Agritech Corp., the country’s biggest hybrid rice and seed producers, on Wednesday said that it plans to conduct its long-stalled initial public offering (IPO) by end of this year, citing improved market conditions.

Henry Lim Bon Liong, SL Agritech president, said that the company intends to raise P2 billion to P3 billion to expand its hybrid rice and seed production business.

“We are trying to assess our fiscal position. We will decide [if we will do the IPO] after our fiscal calendar, which ends in May,” Lim told reporters.

“If not, we may try do it next year,” he added.

Lim said that SL Agritech hopes to get 10 percent to 15 percent of the P450-billion rice industry, adding that they are now focused in expanding hybrid rice production both here and abroad.

The executive also noted that he has been approached by various underwriters for the IPO.

“We are planning already. But at the same time, we are looking at out earning to see if it can provide for us. But right now we have a very healthy stock market, so it’s OK,” he said.

SL Agritech grows and markets SL-8H Super Hybrid Rice seeds and Dona Maria brand premium rice.

“With this additional funding, we may also move from our premium rice and grow lower-priced rice,” he said.

SL Agritech has formed a joint venture with the group of businessman Manuel Pangilinan for a commercial rice production venture.

Under the joint venture, First Pacific Co. Ltd. will provide the financial muscle for the venture while SL Agritech will supply hybrid seeds and the land for large-scale commercial farming.

Initially considered were cultivation areas in Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga Sibugay, Davao del Sur, Campostella Valley, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

Lim yesterday said, however, that SL Agritech has identified at 2,000 hectares to 3,000 hectares of cultivation areas in Iloilo.

“Iloilo rice lands ready for planting. In Mindanao, it will take time and we are trying to fast-track it,” he said, noting that the produce will be allocated for domestic consumption.

“This is to support our rice self-sufficiency goals,” he said.


Doble Panalo - SL-8H 2013 Winners



Hybrid-rice variety developed in PHL, popular in Bangladesh

Business Mirror

Published on Monday, 11 February 2013 19:23
Ramon Efren R. Lazaro / Correspondent


SL-8H, a hybrid-rice variety developed in the Philippines, is gaining popularity in Bangladesh, capturing an estimated 20 percent of the South Asian nation’s hybrid-rice market.

In a statement, SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC), the producer of SL-8H, said that since starting production in 2006, its hybrid-rice variety now occupies a significant share in Bangladesh’s hybrid-rice seed supply.

The country uses 60 varieties: 50 from China; three from India; four from the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute; and three from the private sector, with SL-8H being one of them.

The planting of hybrid-rice seeds in Bangladesh is expected to stop its importation of rice this year, according to Anwar Faruque of the Bangladeshi Ministry of Agriculture, who recently visited the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños town, Laguna province, with a team of Bangladeshi seed experts.

He said Bangladesh used to import half-a-million tons of rice annually.

As of 2012, the hybrid-rice area of Bangladesh is only about 600,000 hectares; the country has nearly 10 million hectares of rice lands. With each hectare yielding an estimated 10 metric tons (MT) of rice, hybrid-rice production was estimated to have reached 600 million MT—more than enough for Dhaka to suspend importing the crop this year.

Bangladesh’s imports of SL-8H have benefited an estimated 300,000 farmers after the Dhaka-owned Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corp. and SLAC signed a seed-production deal.

“This [SL-8H] is the only hybrid-rice seed produced 100 percent in Bangladesh. Other companies import their seeds. We have a very good agreement with SLAC. They provide all the technical support through Dr. [Weijun] Xu and Philippine scientists,” Faruque said.

“The Philippines allowed us to grow the seed in Bangladesh under SL Agritech’s technical assistance. That is a mode suitable for the local growth of our hybrid rice,” he added.


Live Interview on ANC with Coco Alcuaz

ANC Business Nightly

September 12, 2012



Single-use sachet of rice in the market

MALAYA Bussiness Insight

Published on Monday, 27 August 2012


Many companies sell their products in the form of millions of single-use sachets, particularly in developing and emerging markets.

Single-use sachet makes some brands affordable to people with low incomes. They give people the opportunity to buy products in small quantities when they need them.

Just like any other company that is into small packaging, SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) has unveiled their premium quality rice in 300 -gram sachets – a third of a kilo – for P25 each.

“Everything is in sachets now, like shampoos, soaps, coffee, so I figured that maybe rice can come into sachets, to make it more affordable to the poor and also for everyone to have a taste of Dona Maria rice,” said SLAC Chairman Henry Lim Bon Liong.

According to Lim, one sachet makes three to four cups of cooked rice.

“Eighty grams is already one cup of rice,” he explained.

He added that they are trying their best to see how to make it available in sari sari stores as well. Dona Maria rice right now is sold only in leading supermarkets nationwide.

The Dona Maria Jasponica and Miponica varieties are the products of SLAC, developed with the company’s own Research and Development Center in its 40-hectre farm in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

Meanwhile, SLAC together with Manuel V. Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Corp. (MPC) is scouting for a 1000-hectare area for hybrid rice cultivation as their part in making the Philippines self sufficient in rice by 2013.

A preliminary investment of $10 million is allotted to the joint venture, according to Lim.

“When we met with MVP, he said they’ve been in agriculture with 1.5 million hectares in Indonesia planted to palm oil and rubber. So of course they won’t stop at 1,000 hectares (in the Philippines),” said Lim.

“SL Agritech will provide the technology, the hybrid rice variety seeds, together with the technical assistance,” he added

“It will be a very good tie-up with Metro Pacific’s financial muscle and SL Agritech’s technology. We’ll go to the next step of firming our relationship,” he added.

The MPC-SLAC partnership is now identifying its initial target area through state-run Philippine Agribusiness Development Commercial Corp. (PADCC).

Potential areas in Luzon, according to SLAC Hybrid Rice Specialist Dr. Frisco M.Malabanan, are Palawan and Occidental Mindoro; Iloilo and Negros Occidental in the Visayas; and in Mindanao, Zamboanga Sibugay, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.

“They really want to start with a big area at once, at 2,000 hectares. But we told them it’s hard to find a big area right away, so we’re starting with just 1,000,” Lim explained.

Planting will start as soon as the area is made available by PADCC, he said.

The tie-up may pave the way to MPC’s first investment in agriculture as MPC eyes other plantation-type crops like banana, pineapple, and rubber.

The initial investment in the hybrid rice program will go to infrastructure--irrigation, farm to market roads, and post harvest facilities. The needed investment will depend on the condition of the land--whether there is already an existing infrastructure.

Lim said the partnership will also involve coordination with local government units (LGU) which can aid farmers through financing or some type of subsidy for hybrid rice.


Phil to begin exporting rice next year - Alcala


Manila, Philippines - Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said yesterday the Philippines will begin exporting rice next year.

Alcala said hybrid rice producer SL Agrictech, which businessman Manny V. Pangilinan is considering to invest in, is planning to produce the rice seed varieties for long grain and aromatic rice for export.

“We will start to export (rice) next year whatever happens because we need to develop the market,” he said during the release of the first semester farm output report. “We are in the process of determining the volume.“

In an earlier press conference, Pangilinan said his group is interested in making new investments in agriculture, particularly with SL Agritech. Pangilinan recently said that First Pacific Co. Ltd. is in talks with the hybrid rice seed producer about a partnership in large-scale commercial farming.

“We were approached by them,” said Pangilinan. “They will supply the hybrid seedlings then we will provide the land for large-scale commercial farming,” Pangilinan told reporters.

He said talks with SL Agritech are still in the initial stage.

“It is still in the initial stage although they have good products so they should be encouraged,” he said.

Pangilinan said the group is also interested in banana and sugar projects in Mindanao.

He noted that agriculture is a neglected sector in the Philippines while agriculture in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and even Myanmar is vibrant.

SL Agritech ships parental lines of hybrid rice seeds to Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The parental lines are cultivated in these countries to produce the seeds that are sold to farmers.

The firm is considering to start exporting seeds to Nigeria and is planning to expand its operations in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Myanmar as well as in Vietnam where currently exports it seeds.

SL Agritech is a subsidiary of the Sterling Paper Group of Companies. It was formed in 1998, performing research work on hybrid rice.

The company has been planning to conduct an initial public offering but has decided to defer it for next year, believing that tension between Filipino and Chinese naval forces in the Panatag Shoal can disturb trade relations between China and the Philippines and upset the stock market.

Alcala earlier said he would resume talks with Pangilinan regarding possible investments in the agricultural sector.

[-Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) -August 14, 2012]-


‘Hybrid Rice’ pioneer to address graduates


The man behind Hybrid Rice Production in the Philippines, Henry Lim Bon Liong, will address the graduating class of Foundation University during the 2012 Commencement Exercises on Sunday, March 18.

Mr. Lim is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC), the leading research development and production of superior hybrid rice in the country.

He will address the 415 graduating University students at the Sofia Soller Sinco Hall at 3 p.m., which will be covered live on SkyCable and Fil Products Cable TV.

This year’s batch has one Magna Cum Laude in the person of Christopher Marco, from the College of Business Administration’s B.S. Accountancy program.

There are also 14 Cum Laudes this year. They are Michael John Sola, Lynn Francine Batalan, Raymark Anthony Saloria, Merazil Gabutero, Cristine May Delan, Je-Ann Carias, Margie Lorejo, Leigh Ann Torres, Jemarie Murallo, Hyagrace Tolero, Radhiya Ababon, Pureza Nema Catalonia and Jela Mae Tanilon.

Mr. Lim’s address is expected to touch on modern trends in business and agriculture.

With farmers getting as much as 12 tons per hectare with SLAC’s hybrid rice variety SL8H, agriculture experts see the country gaining self-sufficiency in rice by 2013.

The government has a goal of expanding hybrid rice coverage of 500,000 to 700,000 hectares by 2013 from the current coverage of 375,000 hectares.  [-Taken from Dumaguete Metropost -March 21, 2012]-


SL Agritech aggressively pushes hybrid technology


SL Agritech Corp. has been sponsoring hybrid rice harvest festivals all over the country to promote the benefits of hybrid rice technology to boost farm productivity, according to Henry Lim, the firm’s president and chief executive officer (CEO).

The first two harvest festivals held this harvest season were in La Paz , Tarlac last March 16, and in Urdaneta, Pangasinan last March 30.

The next will be in Nueva Ecija, in Sto. Domingo on April 11 and in Sta. Rosa on April 12; and Alcala in Cagayan on April 20.

Lim said 10 other rice harvest festivals are scheduled to be held in May this year.

Special guests at the La Paz harvest festival, which was attended by over 350 hybrid rice farmers and community leaders, were Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap and Mayor Michael Manuel. Special guest at the Urdaneta affair was Mayor Boom Perez.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Mula sa Kawalan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran.”

Among those who had graced the festivals which SL Agritech Corp. has been sponsoring since 2006, were President Aquino’s sisters Maria Elena “Balsy” Aquino-Cruz and Pinky Aquino Abellada, former Agriculture Secretary Arturo Yap, National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Lito Banayo, Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali, Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap; provincial, town and barangay officials including provincial and municipal agriculturists.

“We are indeed happy to note that more and more farmers in many parts of the country are now planting our high-yielding hybrid rice seed variety, notably our SL-8H and using the latest farming technology,” Lim said.

“We can’t rely solely on traditional inbred seeds variety,” he said, adding that “while we are all aware of the important role played by technology in our massive food production efforts, there is the need for all of us to keep abreast with the various technological approaches and to continuously be in search of new and better systems toward increased productivity.” -[Daily Tribune -04/02/2012]-


Tarlac execs urge tillers to adapt modern know-how


Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap has urged farmers in the province “to work doubly hard to boost our farm productivity and income.”

In a brief talk at a hybrid rice festival sponsored by SL Agritech Corp., Gov. Yap said “there is apparent need for all of us to keep abreast with the various technological approaches and to be continuously in search of new and better systems toward increased food productivity.”

During the same occasion, La Paz Mayor Michael Manuel expressed high hopes that by embracing the new hybrid rice technology, “our farmers will substantially increase their production and income, so much so that it will become our stepping stone toward the improvement of our community and people.”

Among those present during the festival, which has for its theme “Mula sa Kawalan Tungo sa Kaunlaran,” and attended by over 350 farmers and community leaders, were Henry Lim, SL Agritech chairman and CEO; former Food Minister and NFA Adminsitrator Jesus Tanchanco; and Fr. Ed de la Torre, representing Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.

SL Agritech has been holding hybrid rice festivals since 2006 in towns and provinces to promote the hybrid rice technology.

Encouraged by the benefits of hybrid rice technology, Lim said several Asian countries have already been using his firm’s rice technology — Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, Nigeria, Malaysia and Bangladesh including Vietnam, where, he said, “we import billions of pesos worth of rice every year.”  -[Daily Tribune 03/19/2012]-