July 31, 2011, Philippine Star

The new hybrid rice program of SL Agritech Corp., called “Kayamanan sa Palayan,” which was launched by the firm last cropping season, is gaining wide acceptance among farmers in several municipalities and provinces, according to Henry Lim, the firm’s  chairman and chief executive officer.

“’Kayamanan sa Palayan’ is our social corporate responsibility to utilize the latest farming technology to increase the farmers’ production and income and boost the government’s effort to attain self-sufficiency through the planting of hybrid rice. But we can only succeed in all this with the full support of the government,” Lim said.

Lim said he has written a letter to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala over the weekend informing him that SL Agritech, while advocating the use of hybrid rice technology, is also endorsing  the Department of Agriculture’s programs of food sufficiency,  in line with Public-Private Sector Partnership (PPP) program of President Aquino.

He said he had also furnished Alcala a copy of the initial production report from the provinces and municipalities participating in the program which, he said, “indicated a very good impact in increasing rice productivity using our high-yielding SL-8H hybrid seed variety.”

He said the national average yield in the irrigated area is around 4.5 metric tons (MT) per hectare or 90 cavans per hectare using the certified inbred rice seeds variety, as compared to the average yield of 7.7 MT per hectare or 152 cavans per hectare (using the SL-8H hybrid seeds) based from the initial reports from five provinces — Kalinga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Oriental Mindoro and Negros Occidental.

Kayamanan sa Palayan’s priority target areas are 100-hectare compact and irrigated rice farms which are low-yielding and areas where the hybrid rice technology is not yet adapted. The target beneficiaries are the farmers, irrigators’ associations, cooperatives and rice farm clusters.

Lim explained that the scheme is a “Plant Now Pay Later Plan,” which means SL Agritech will supply the farmers the palay seeds (the high-yielding SL-8H seeds variety) and provide the technological know-how. The farmers will pay for the palay seeds only during harvest time.

He said the program is being undertaken in partnership with the local government units (LGUs), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Department of Agriculture, and other stakeholders in the rice industry.