South Korea to be tapped for solar rice dryer partnership

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said that it is planning to develop solar-powered rice dryers in partnership with the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO).

In a statement on Tuesday, the DA said that solar dryers could fill the gaps in the National Food Authority’s capacity to process palay, or unmilled rice.

“This development is critical as the National Food Authority faces significant gaps in drying capacity, particularly during the wet season, with upgrade plans falling short of national requirements,” it said.

The DA added that the NFA’s drying capacity is expected to rise to 180,000 metric tons (MT) as a result, though this remains well short of the required 495,000 MT.

The DA also pressed KAMICO to pursue its plans to establish the Korea Agriculture Machinery Complex (KAMIC) in the Philippines.

Earlier, the DA said it will seek to establish an agri-machinery plant in Nueva Ecija or Quezon.

“Products imported under the KAMIC project will benefit from favorable tariff arrangements under CREATE Law which will further bolster the projects economic viability,” it added.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. said that incentives under the CREATE Law, including exemptions from local taxes and business permits for a specified period plus incentives outlined in the Strategic Investment Priority Plan of 2022. — Adrian H. Halili