ROSALES - A $10-million (P450-million) corn seed processing plant was inaugurated on Tuesday in Salvacion village here to help boost the country’s corn self-sufficiency goal.
Assistant Secretary Edilberto De Luna of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said the private investment processing plant in Pangasinan will help sustain the growth of the corn industry in the country.
“The increased productivity (of corn) will translate to increased income and will support the needs of allied industries,” De Luna said during the inauguration ceremony.
Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, served as the guest of honor who said that the goals of the private facility is consistent with the goals of DA to push for increased production of corn and address climate change by assuring the availability of quality corn seeds.
Villar said the project is very welcome as some 1.8 million Filipinos rely on corn for livelihood and at least 11 million are directly and indirectly employed in the corn industry.
“Filipino farmers will be the main beneficiaries as the facility will bring about inclusive growth,” Villar said.
Indian National Karumanchi Prasad, chairman of Prasad Seeds which funded the processing plant, said his company envisions to make the Philippines produce more than enough hybrid seeds which can be exported to Southeast Asia.
“We envision to transform Pangasinan into becoming the seed capital of the Philippines and eventually the Philippines as the regional corn seed hub in Southeast Asia,” Prasad said.
Board Member Alfonso Bince, who represented Gov. Amado Espino, Jr, said Pangasinan is “very happy” for hosting the project as the facility will benefit farmers of Pangasinan and nearby provinces.
Bince said Pangasinan has been a national awardee on quality corn seed achievement and the new development will boost the positive accomplishments for the public.
Prasad Seeds employ a drying technology that uses fuel efficiently and consumes 20 percent lesser liquefied petroleum gas compared to existing dryers. It also uses US- designed blower and burning systems that result in shorter drying time and reduced power consumption.
The corn processing facility was endorsed by DA to the Department of Trade and Industry under ‘pioneering status’ as the investment augurs well with the country’s corn industry.
Also present during the inauguration ceremony were Indian Ambassador LD Ralte, Former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., Board Member Ranjit Shahani, Dr. William Dar of Prasad Seeds and Mr. Desmond Tong of Syngenta. (VHA/PIA-1Pangasinan)