Rice processing centers stand idle because of lack of power connection
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol is seeking a solution to the absence of power connections to modern rice processing centers that previous administrations have set up.
Piñol said there are two modern rice processing centers costing between P8 to P10 million each in his hometown of M’lang in North Cotabato that have yet to husk a single grain of paddy rice because these are not connected to any power lines.
With the modern rice processing centers, farmers can dry and mill their palay and sell them as rice in neatly packed bags and earn more.
While Piñol finds the concept of setting up modern rice processing centers “very beautiful,” the concept failed because of lack of consultation with farmers who could have told government right away that they couldn’t afford the cost of paying for the connection to power lines which he estimates at P300,000 to P1 million, depending on the distance.
“Why in the world would anybody even consider constructing a modern rice mill for a farmers’ group without even asking themselves whether the farmers are prepared to receive such a project,” Piñol said on his FB page.
“Doesn’t simple planning and management require that in introducing projects to farmer-beneficiaries, a study should be first conducted? Was there sufficient social preparation and orientation? This story is all too common in the DA,” he added.
He candidly admitted that he doesn’t have a solution to this problem yet but he is working on it.
“Now, I don’t know how to handle this RPC problem yet but I am sure there will always be a way to be able to resolve this,” he said. “As the old Tagalog saying goes: Kung gusto, maraming paraan. Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan (If you want to, you’ll find several ways. If you really don’t want to, you will find a million excuses.) ”