Recognizing the people behind PHL’s thriving business landscape

by Jeahan Virda B. de Barras - November 11, 2014

In Photo: Winners with the Board and Executive Committee during the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2014 held at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City.

IN a vastly improving economic environment, there are the entrepreneurs who serve a vital role in promoting the progress and upholding industrial sustainability; it is the entrepreneurial activities of these people that help spur economic activity and encourage business exchange.

Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) sets the series with the “THRIVE” theme in the Philippines—(from left) APEA President Dato’ William Ng, Sen. Bam Aquino and Chairman Tan Sri Dr. Fong Chan Onn.

The Philippines is one thriving economic landscape and behind its current progress are the entrepreneurs, who have braved all odds, persevered through despite everything that the country has faced in the past and lingered with the goal to continue thriving.

The story of the country and its bold entrepreneurs has become an inspiration to the rest of the world. For that, both the country and its valuable entrepreneurs aregarnering international recognition.

Asia’s most coveted awards for entrepreneurs

AND so the most coveted award for entrepreneurs in Asia has set foot in the Philippines.

The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (Apea) is a regional recognition program organized by Enterprise Asia in 2007 to cite the contributions of successful entrepreneurs and also let emerging private-sector leaders take inspiration from them. It has been rolled out in 11 other Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

This year the recognition program began with the “Rise” theme in Singapore; “Aspire” in Indonesia; “Ignite” in Malaysia; and “Inspire” in Hong Kong. By the end of the year, the organization would have completed all 12 editions, showcasing the greatest among Asian entrepreneurs.

In the Philippines the series continues with the “Thrive.” Enterprise Asia officially announced its first batch of the country’s finest entrepreneurs on November 3 at Dusit Thani Manila. Each recipient was presented with trophies and certificates by Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn, chairman of Enterprise Asia; Dato William Ng, president of Enterprise Asia; and Sen. Bam Aquino, who is one of the advisors to Enterprise Asia in the Philippines.  

“The Apea is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship; by receiving this recognition, it’s not just glory for these deserving entrepreneurs, but also motivation and encouragement to them, to continue what they are doing and taking their businesses to the next level. In doing so, not only are they growing their empire, they’re also providing more business and employment opportunity to the locals, and it is this element which spurs the country’s economy forward,” the chairman of Enterprise Asia said.

The judging structure of the Apea is among the most stringent in the world. The Philippine recipients were selected from among 100 short-listed candidates, ranging from talented young entrepreneurs to experienced industrialists. Each recipient had to go through prescreening by Enterprise Asia’s team of analysts, compulsory site audits and interviews.

The awardees for the Outstanding Category of Apea 2014 Philippines are  Angela de Villa-Lacson, president and CEO of ArthaLand Corp.; Raul Joseph A. Concepcion, chairman and CEO of Concepcion Industrial Corp.; Dr. Patrick Louvel, president and CEO of DKT Philippines; Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, president and cofounder of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (Hari); Gilda E. Pico, president and CEO of Land Bank of the Philippines; Johnlu G. Koa, founder and CEO of The French Baker; Minoru Iriko, president and director of Toshiba Information Equipment (Phils.) Inc.; Dr. Milagros O. How, executive vice president of Universal Harvester Inc.; and Esther Vibal, chairman of Vibal Group of Companies.

Meanwhile, the Most Promising Category recipients are Sheila Lina, president and CEO of Air21 Global Inc.; Junie S. del Mundo, chairman and CEO of Eon; Rhodora Tactacan-Tumpalan, president and CEO of First Vita Plus; Jolly Lim Ting, chairman and CEO of Jolliville Holdings Corp.; Anthony Gerard O. Leuterio, founder and president of Leuterio Realty & Brokerage; Rodrigo E. Rivera Sr., chairman and CEO of RD Corp.; Regan Rex T. King, general manager of RDAK Transport Equipment Inc.; and Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, chairman and CEO of SL Agritech Corp.

Different stories, same entrepreneurial stance

THE Philippines may be a thriving economic environment now, but it has had its point of privation, too, which is why it is not always an easy feat to be an entrepreneur in the country.  And it is in these struggles that the real stories are formed.

The story of Hari’s woman at the helm, for instance, is truly one of the most inspiring in the Philippine business. Perez-Agudo guided Hyundai to its lofty position as the third best-selling brand in the Philippines, with Hari expanding its dealership network to date to 42 and manned by more than 3,000 dedicated employees. She credits her accomplishments in the company partly to how she was raised. Coming from a big family with persevering parents, Perez-Agudo learned all about

resilience and hard work.

“We’ve had a lot of struggles to face in setting up Hari. But because giving up is never an option for us, we pushed through. I guess now we are receiving the fruits of everything that we fought for; and I truly am very thankful for that,” she said.

Some recipients consider the Apea a reminder and beacon of their pursuits and missions. “At the end of the day, the success of a person lies in how much he influences the improvement of lives in his community; for a better future that will leave a legacy for generations,” King said.

How, meanwhile, shared that she is receiving her award on behalf of the hardworking Filipino farmers and farmer-organizations. “This award can only further inspire us and strengthen owur resolve to see our social mission through its completion,” she said.

For Lina, the Apea is a personal reflection of her life. “The victory is a challenge for me to pursue continuous advancement in all aspects of my life—from my physical well-being, to my emotional maturity in my relationships with family and co-workers, to increased knowledge about business leadership and technology and, most important, my personal spiritual development.”

The recipients all agree that in any success, no accomplishment will take place without passion and dreams. Concepcion shared how he got the will to run a company: “[It was] fortified by my grandfather, when he started the company more than 50 years ago. I continue to live these tenets and pass these to my children, to our company and to our shareholders as a way of ensuring continuity of our business, and also challenging our people to dream, believe and achieve growth beyond our current horizons.”

Ting advises budding entrepreneurs to “know what you want and do what you want.” He also shared in Thrive, Apea’s published work for its recipients, that he is not afraid to take risks, as he believes that abundant problems present abundant opportunities. To a successful entrepreneur, an ability to take risks and optimism are key to success.

Bon Liong agreed, saying: “The greatest risk of an entrepreneur is not to take risk at all.” Without taking the risk, he wouldn’t have been able to make a revolutionary contribution in Philippine agriculture —a hybrid rice variety that is comparable to the hybrid rice that saved China from starvation.

With all the success stories of each recipient, they were truly able to show how to overcome challenges and rigors to embody what it takes to be an entrepreneur in today’s generation. They became leaders in their fields and successfully helped the Philippines become a thriving environment for businesses characterised by economic resilience.

 

 

Business of ASEAN: Preparing SMEs for AEC2015

October 22, 2014 by Monica Ricafort

On the panel: President of Roberto & Associates, Dr. Eduardo Roberto, Chief Executive Officer of VMV Hypoallergenics, Laura Verallo de Bertotto, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Paper Group of Companies, Henry Lim Bon Liong, and AIM ASEAN 2015 Project Leader, Professor Macaranas.

Manila, Philippines—On October 21, 2014, Asia Society Philippines and the Asian Institute of Management’s ASEAN 2015 Project, with the support of GoNegosyo, hosted the second session for its Understanding ASEAN series, Part 2: Business of ASEAN at the Asian Institute of Management’s Fuller Hall.

The Understanding ASEAN series hopes to explore the implications of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 through a dynamic, engaging and multi-disciplinary series of dialogues. This session tries to delve into the impact of the regional integration on business, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Professor Federico M. Macaranas moderated a panel discussion with speakers that included the President of Roberto & Associates, Inc, Dr. Eduardo Roberto, Chief Executive Officer of VMV Hypoallergenics, Laura Verallo de Bertotto, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer ofSterling Paper Group of Companies, Henry Lim Bon Liong.

Key Takeaways:

• DR. EDUARDO ROBERTO touched on the ASEAN Psyche and the importance of practicing both qualitative and quantitative market research. By having this two-prong approach, a business is able to strengthen its market management, which properly prepares them for the approaching regional integration.

• LAURA VERALLO DE BERTOTTO shared insights in her experience managing a local SME that have been able to enter the international market. She stresses the need to have an engaged and genuine relationship with customers. It is this customer intimacy that has enabled her to transcend from the local market into the broader international market. She holds authenticity as a core value she strives to maintain in her company as it fosters trust and goodwill, not only in its external relations, but also internal as well.

• HENRY LIM BON LIONG, in contrast to Ms. Bertotto, talked more about the systematic and scientific approach in which his businesses are rooted in. He highlighted the importance of research and development and quality control, and how those can be a way to change the mindset of the customers and different stakeholders. In light of the regional integration, he encourages all to see competition as a way to keep everyone from being complacent—to seek self-improvement that will reflect in business and other aspects of life.

The Open Forum gave the participants to engage the speakers by asking questions that explored the potential challenges of SMEs face. After, Professor Macaranas synthesized the key points raised and emphasized the importance of knowing the market and approaching the challenges head on.

The next session will be held on December 10 and will cover the topic of Disaster Management.

Understanding ASEAN is a four-part series that aims to explore the opportunities and challenges through a multi-dimensional series of programs. Media partners are ANC, Business Mirror, Business World, Malaya Business Insight, 99.5 Play FM, 9 News and DZAR 1026 SMNI Radio.  

 

Rise to the Rice Bucket Challenge

GO NEGOSYO By Joey Concepcion (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 18, 2014 - 12:00am

The pioneer of #RiceBucketChallengePH Henry Lim Bon Liong and Joey Concepcion.

I heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge which trended over the internet and news media for the past few weeks. The challenge reached our country and soon, it became viral. Even my wife and daughter did this ice bucket challenge which is for the awareness of the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

This weekend, a new challenge started which aims to cure one of the prevalent diseases in this country: poverty. The Rice Bucket Challenge is pioneered by one of Go Negosyo’s active advocates and one of the recent Most Inspiring Agripreneur awardees, Henry Lim Bon Liong. The objective is to donate buckets of rice grains to poor families. Initially, Henry donated 100 buckets of rice to marginalized communities, but pledged to give 5,000 buckets of rice every September, every year! This is the kind of challenge many Filipinos who are deep in hunger will benefit from.

This only proves that there are still people who are concerned for others, who go out of their way to help fellowmen and who aspire for a greater good. It’s simple but if they will ‘challenge’ others, the impact of this will go a long way.  Just like how Henry has said, “No amount of sharing is too small and no matter how humble it may seem, the concerted effort of many can be a gigantic leap towards easing the hunger of our fellow Filipinos.”

Even Manuel V. Pangilinan accepted the challenge. I read his tweet that once he got back from abroad, he will be donating 100 sacks of rice. I, too, will be in full support of this Rice Bucket Challenge.

 

Now, I challenge my entrepreneur friends and even my readers to donate at least one bucket of rice to those who are in need. May we all rise to the challenge!

Some people would say that the most successful businesses are in the food industry. Mainly because food is a constant need. Some foodies even travel far just to have their favorite dish. It’s a good thing to have some of it here in Manila.

Like the Tim Ho Wan from Hong Kong which our good friends and supporters of Go Negosyo, Rikki Dee of Foodlink Group and Felix Ang of Cats Motors brought to Manila. The Michelin-starred restaurant is famous for its Cantonese dimsum and baked buns with barbeque pork. Rikki, who is an established restaurateur and the man behind Chin’s Express and other brands in malls, now adds Tim Ho Wan to his list of restaurant ventures. As for Felix, this is I think his first restaurant venture and will sure let be a successful one.

  

The food business is tricky. One must know what the market demands and must reach the taste of the Filipinos in order to click.

When different ramen chains opened, people welcomed it. Ramen became a popular Japanese dish to the Filipino taste buds.  So when my brother, John Concepcion, brought Ippudo to the Philippines, many are excited and delighted to have a taste of the world famous ramen.But before the Ippudo he started the Yabu: House of Katsu which became popular in the country.

Today, many Filipinos will be able to experience Ippudo. Filipinos will no longer fly out of the country just to have a bowl of their delicious ramen.

Many other food concepts and franchises have been brought in the country and we still see new ones being introduced.   I heard the Costa Coffee from London will be brought also to Manila by the Robinson Retail group of Lance and Robina Gokongwei. Our British Ambassador friend Asif Ahmad must be happy to see Costa here.  There will be more international concepts in the coming years as the Filipinos get global and as the demand for new concepts continues.  We will see more treats for the Filipinos who love to eat out. It also means our local concepts have to step up in this ever dynamic food service and restaurant industry.

 

Businessman launches Rice Bucket Challenge

 (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 14, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Inspired by the popular Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral on social media last month, a socially relevant version is now making waves in India.

The Rice Bucket Challenge encourages people to donate rice to  poor families in “bucket or packet” form.

Pioneering the Rice Bucket Challenge in the Philippines is Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, the producer and distributor of Dona Maria premium rice varieties. He launched his own version of the Rice Bucket Challenge  in a call for the more fortunate Filipinos to help the  less fortunate, most especially those who live below the poverty line and lack the stable means to meet the basic staple  needs.

The beneficiaries are the families that consume less than the amount of food needed on a daily basis and experience anywhere from moderate to severe hunger.

 

The objective of the “Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong Rice Bucket Challenge” is to give  the gift of health by giving away highly nutritious, full of antioxidants, fiber-rich brown rice to feed  underprivileged Filipino families that are most prone to malnutrition.

To kick off the Rice Bucket Challenge, Lim announced during his birthday last Sept. 4, that he would  give rice buckets to 5,000 poor families.

 

Lim also gave all employees of Sterling Paper Group of Companies a packet of brown rice each and subsequently challenged them to participate in the Rice Bucket Challenge by giving a packet of rice to the most needy in their neighborhood, share a picture of the deed on Facebook (one need not show one’s face) with the  hash tag #RiceBucketChallengeph, and inviting  as many friends to like the picture and encourage them to do the same by posting “How to Participate.”

Every year thereafter, on his birth month, Lim has pledged to repeat the  undertaking. Last Friday,  an initial 100 poor families received a five-kilo bucket of Doña Maria Brown Rice.

 

“Many of our fellow Filipinos are poor and hardly have enough to buy rice. How much more partake of brown rice that is rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, B-complex and manganese that are all essential for a healthy body?” said Lim.

 

“A lack in nutrition may result to a weak labor and workforce. We hope to start the awareness that such nutritious rice is very much within reach to everyone,” he said.

Lim wants to change the notion that brown rice is “dirty rice” or “the poor man’s rice.”   “The truth is, brown rice is now being eaten by health-conscious showbiz personalities and the rich, primarily due to its tremendous health benefits.”

“Brown rice is also ideal for breastfeeding mothers. It is a super food that can equip new mothers with adequate milk supply.  It keeps the mother’s energy levels up and provides the calories needed to make the best-quality milk for the baby”, according to Lim.

“I enjoin everyone to participate in the Rice Bucket Challenge.  It only takes sharing a packet or a bucket of rice from one’s very own kitchen.  Giving even just a kilo of rice would mean the world to the poor, starving families. No amount of sharing is too small and no matter how humble it may seem, the concerted effort of many can be a gigantic leap towards easing the hunger of our fellow Filipinos. Not just a drop in the bucket. This single drop when simultaneously done by many can have the ripple effect, making an ocean of difference,”  Lim said.

 

LANDBANK recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs and corporations

Sep 11, 2014

SL Agritech Corporation’s Chairman and CEO Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong (4th from left) and SVP Jocelyn Farnacio accept the LANDBANK Gawad KAAGAPAY Award (Large Agri-based category) from LANDBANK president and CEO Gilda E. Pico (2nd  from left), Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, and  LANDBANK Agricultural and Development Lending Sector Head Executive Vice-President Cecilia C. Borromeo (1st from left).

L. Angeles Machineries Corporation’s President Mr. Leonardo Angeles (4th from right) and Directors Sps. George Michael and Lorna Unas (5th and 6th from right) accept the Entrepreneur of the Year award under LANDBANK’s Gawad Entrepreneur 2014 from LANDBANK president and CEO Gilda E. Pico (7th from left) and Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV. With them are (L-R):  LANDBANK Director Domingo Diaz, Alternate Director/DOLE Undersecretary Reydeluz Conferido, Director Tomas de Leon, Director Crispino Aguelo, Director Victor Gerardo Bulatao,  Agricultural and Development Lending Sector Head Executive Vice-President Cecilia C. Borromeo, Southern Luzon Lending Group Head FVP Daisy Macalino, and Cavite Lending Center Head Jesse Calibuso. 

 

LANDBANK recognized the outstanding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and corporations in its annual Gawad Entrepreneur and Gawad KAAGAPAY (Korporasyon na Kaagapay sa Ating Ganap na Tagumpay) awarding ceremonies held at the LANDBANK Plaza, Malate, Manila.

 

Now on its 11th year, the Gawad Entrepreneur recognizes excellent operations and significant accomplishments of LANDBANK-assisted SMEs particularly in contributing to the economic progress and social development of local communities. It also seeks to provide SMEs with incentives to motivate them to improve their businesses.

Meanwhile, the Gawad KAAGAPAY honors Bank-assisted large corporations which contributed to LANDBANK’s support to its priority sectors including farmers and fishers, mirco and small and medium enterprises.  Like the Gawad Entrepreneur, Gawad KAAGAPAY also aims to motivate these corporations to constantly enhance their performance.

 

LANDBANK hailed L. Angeles Machineries Corporation (LAMACO) as the Entrepreneur of the Year in this year’s Gawad Entrepreneur. From a small welding shop that simply catered to walk-in customers, L. Angeles Machineries Corporation is now a successful business engaged in manufacturing of sheet metal and wood work machines.  From its humble beginnings, LAMACO’s clients now include steel forming companies such as Puyat Steel, Galva Steel and Chauyuko, among others.

The top winner of the Large agri-based category of Gawad KAAGAPAY is SL Agritech Corporation, a subsidiary of Sterling Paper Group of Companies  developing several hybrid rice parental lines.  From its modest operations in a land provided by the provincial government of Laguna, SL Agritech has emerged as a corporation following the first crop of harvest of its hybrid rice seeds.  It has continually brought employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to the rural areas to respond to the national government’s program of attaining food sufficiency.

LANDBANK President and CEO Gilda E. Pico led the conferment of the awards together with Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV who was also the  Keynote Speaker.  A total of 14 awards with cash prizes and trophies of recognition were given away to the winners of both Gawad Entrepreneur and Gawad KAAGAPAY.

“LANDBANK consistently recognizes outstanding SMEs and corporations who help significantly in the development of the communities where they operate, thereby revitalizing the rural economy at large,” Pico said.

The national winners for this year’s Gawad Entrepreneur are the following:

•Entrepreneur of the Year – L. Angeles Machineries Corporation in Bacoor City, Cavite

•Outstanding Agri-based Entrepreneur – Nature’s Legacy Eximport, Inc. in Compostela, Cebu

•Outstanding Non Agri-based Entrepreneur – Southern Mindanao Institute of Technology in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat

 

The Gawad KAAGAPAY has four categories according to business size and  nature of enterprise.  The national winners are as follow:

•Large Agri-based category -  SL Agritech Corporation in Makati City

•Large Non-Agri-based category - Asian Marine Transport Corporation in Cebu City

•Midsized Agri-based category - Agri-Component Corporation in Cauayan City, Isabela

•Midsized Non-Agri-based category - St. Elizabeth Hospital, Inc. in General Santos City, South Cotabato

 

HAPPY NEWS | 'RICE BUCKET CHALLENGE,' SINIMULAN NA SA 'PINAS; MVP, HINAMON NA SUMUNOD

Reporters: Erwin Tulfo, Luchi Cruz-Valdes

AKSYON | Lumahok na ang isang negosyante sa 'Pinas sa nauusong "Rice Bucket Challenge" kung saan namigay siya ng isang timbang "brown rice" sa mga kapus-palad na pamilya.

Hinamon naman niya ang kapwa-negosyanteng si TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan na sundan ang hamon. Ulat ni Marlene Alcaide. (Video edited by Rose Angelie Quilicol;

Video uploaded by Joey Hernandez; Edited by Seph Ubalde. For any concerns, you may E-Mail us at newsfiveeverywhere@gmail.com)

 

SL Agritech: Sowing the seeds of prosperity

By Maricor Zapata (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 26, 2014 - 12:00am

SL Agritech founder Henry Lim Bon Liong with the late former Food Minister Jesus Tanchanco in a rice harvest festival in Talavera, Nueva Ecija in April 2014.    

MANILA, Philippines - Exactly a week before he died of cardiac arrest in April, former Food Ministry chief Jesus Tanchanco was in a harvest festival in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.  He was cheerfully advocating among the local farmers the use of hybrid rice seeds, as key to financial freedom and the country’s quest for rice sufficiency.

The country’s first National Food Authority chairman was specifically vouching for SL-8H, a kind of hybrid rice seed developed and commercially propagated nationwide by Filipino-Chinese businessman Henry Lim Bon Liong.

Henry Lim, Tanchanco said, is a Filipino who loves his country and intends to stay rooted in the Philippines for the rest of his life.  The two gentlemen shared the same vision of a food-sufficient Philippines, backed by farmers who are not poor but living comfortably through dignified hard work.

At the very least, Tanchanco had a glimpse of that dream. After 40 years since the Masagana 99 program under his watch, the Philippines last year started exporting rice again.  

On May 6, 2013, 35 metric tons of the staple was shipped from Manila to Dubai. The shipment consisted of 15 metric tons of organic black rice produced by farmers of Don Bosco Foundation for Sustainable Development Inc. in North Cotabato and 20 metric tons of aromatic long grain rice produced by Lim’s SL Agritech Corp.

SL Agritech now continuously exports its Doña Maria premium rice brand to Dubai and other parts of the Middle East. France’s Carrefour, Europe’s biggest supermarket chain and world’s second biggest retailer next to Wal Mart, offered to distribute the Philippine-grown fancy rice.

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Packed in two-kilogram, five-kilogram, and 10-kilogram bags, SL Agritech’s Dona Maria rice exports are mainly meant to cater to rice-loving Filipinos in the Middle East, where they usually eat rice imported from Thailand.

“Half of the Dubai population are Filipinos,” relates Donna T. Lim, the family firm’s assistant vice president for supply chain. “We did a little twist on our packaging to make them support Philippine-grown rice, and therefore help Filipino farmers.”

Doña Maria rice, named after Henry Lim’s late visionary mother, is mainly produced in a farm in Davao Oriental through contract-growing. SL Agritech provides the seed to the farmers for free, and then buys all the harvested crops at higher-than-market prices.

The Lim family notes that if their company’s export volume keeps its pace, it would be more than enough to hit the Department of Agriculture’s export target of 200 metric tons for 2014.

Last October, Doña Maria rice was also placed on the shelves of supermarkets in Los Angeles, California in the US, with international retailer Triple A as distributor.

Alongside these rice exports, SL Agritech is also selling hybrid seeds to other countries, primarily, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

“It’s so ironic, we sell seeds to Vietnam but buy rice from them,” laments Henry Lim.

Just recently, the National Food Authority awarded to two Vietnamese companies the supply of 800,000 metric tons of rice to be imported in batches from May to August this year.

Agriculture officials explain that the rice imports, despite the country’s renewed ability to export the staple mainly through private sector initiatives, are only for the government’s buffer stock for the lean months of July to September, and as contingency stock for calamities.

Over a year ago, the Asian Development Bank reportedly cautioned the Philippine government from aggressively pursuing its no-importation and rice sufficiency goals.  The ADB said this might muddy the country’s trade commitments with rice exporting nations.

Of late, according to the Vietnam Food Association, Vietnam’s rice export industry has been feeling the pinch of lower demand from major customers like the Philippines and Indonesia, which are all working for rice self-sufficiency.

Meanwhile, SL Agritech is looking at Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam for additional cultivation areas for development of more hybrid rice, even just for its SL-8H variety.  The company will provide the parental seeds and technical assistance.

 

PUP to honor rice hybrid promoter with honorary Doctor of Science degree

http://www.mb.com.ph/pup-to-honor-rice-hybrid-promoter-with-honorary-doctor-fo-science-degree/

May 3, 2014

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) is set to recognize the pivotal role technology takes in the country’s food security as it recognizes SL Agritech Corp.’s (SLAC) Henry Lim Bon Liong for the risks he took in pioneering the hybrid rice sector.

Lim will also be the rite’s commencement speaker.

SLAC, which accounts for the supply of 60 to 80 percent of the Philippines hybrid rice seeds, has enabled the country to raise its national rice yield from three metric tons (MT) per hectare to 3.6 to 3.8 MT per hectare.

Hybrid rice technology has enabled Filipino farmers to enjoy a better standard of living with net income doubling from just P50,000 per hectare to at least P100,000 per hectare using hybrid rice seeds.

PUP has been a premiere academic institution on the sciences with its course offering in all science fields (Chemistry, Physics, Biology) and engineering and technology.

While hybrid rice seeds in the Philippines only account for around five-six percent of the country’s rice area of around three million hectares, Lim has spearheaded technology information that could expand the area.

He just led the development of a new rice variety, SL-18H, that gives a rice yield of a relatively stable seven to 10 MT per hectare.  This is two to three times higher than the yield from inbred rice of three to four MT per hectare.

The introduction over the last two cropping seasons of SL-18H is a continuing effort through science and technology of Lim to give farmers better income and livelihood.

“SL-18 is the only variety now that can exceed the yield of our first hybrid rice variety (SL-8H),” Lim said.

Despite initial criticisms against hybrid rice and SL-8H, Lim persisted on showing farmers that hybrid rice is a technology that could pluck them out from abject poverty.

He has persuaded farmers that they only need 15 to 20 kilos of good hybrid seeds.  This can well take the place of 50 to 80 kilos of inbred seeds and adequately earn for them an income two times that from inbreds.

Hybrids are a product of the breeding of two superior parents with outstanding traits like disease resistance, delicious taste and aromatic-smelling, and anti-lodging (resistance against wind) quality.

Lim risked his own money of at least P100 million for the 40-hectare hybrid rice experimental farm that he put up in Brgy. Oogong, Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

He put in a few hundred million peso more for the experiments to come up with a tropical weather-suited hybrid rice that has so far then been proven workable only in temperate zones as in China.

He even took the risk against his own life as he traveled to conflict-ridden farms in Mindanao as the company put up its seed production in Banay banay, Davao Oriental.

The good result of his experiments, that now includes Dona Maria Rice (with its tagline the best-tasting rice in the Philippines, perhaps in the whole world), comes from a trusting relationship with his scientists-breeders.

His breeders were granted to him as help by Father of Hybrid Rice Yuan Longping of China who believed in Lim’s mission to contribute to reduction of global hunger.

“In three to five years, SLAC is aiming to feed 50 million people.  By that time two million hectares must be planted to SLAC hybrid rice varieties,” said Lim.

PUP Regents board members are Commission on Higher Education Chairman Alex B. Brillanes, Sen. Pia S. Cayetano, Rep. Roman T. Romulo, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Sec. Arsenio M. Balisacan, NEDA Deputy Dir. Gen Margarita Songco,

Science Sec. Mario G. Montejo, Philippine National Red Cross Board Sec. Corazon Alma G. De Leon, Civil Network for Education Reform President Edicio G. Dela Torre, Fed. of Alumni Association Pres. Rene A. Tanasas, Federated Faculty Assn. Pres. Edna S. Lavadio,

Anak-PUP Student Councils Fed. Pres. Ma. Alexi R. Tiotangco, and PUP Board Secretary Merito Lovensky D. R. Fernandez.

 

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

MANILA BULLETIN

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
Written by: JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ

 

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
Written by MADELAINE CABRERA

 

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]-