Three other Asian countries to adopt hybrid rice technology

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1 VOL. 4 NO. 4 PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY BY SL AGRITECH CORP. NOV-DEC 2011 We greet you all a merry, merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Nueva Ecija farmer turns in impressive rice yields Page 2 Jasponica Rice, anyone? Page 5 We could be rice self-sufficient Page 9 CAMBODIA, MYANMAR AND BRUNEI Three other Asian countries to adopt hybrid rice technology Encouraged by the benefits of hybrid rice technology, three of the world s biggest rice consuming countries -- Cambodia, Myanmar By SANNY GALVEZ (formerly Burma) and Brunei Darussalam, are also adopting SL Agritech s hybrid rice technology to boost their food sufficiency programs. Henry Lim, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of SL Agritech Corp. said his firm is set to export sometime next month an initial 200 metric tons (MT) of its high-yielding SL-8H hybrid rice seeds to Cambodia as part of an agreement it signed with officials of the Cambodian government. Four Asian countries are al- (Turn to page 6) Vietnam gets 2nd shipment of hybrid rice SL Agritech is scheduled to ship sometime next month 300 metric tons (MT) of its high-yielding SL-8H super hybrid rice seeds to Vietnam, one of the five Asian countries adopting the firm s hybrid rice technology. The firm s succeeding shipment will be 600 MT in 2012, 1,000 MT in 2013, 1,500 MT in 2014 and 2,500 in By the end of 2015, Vietnam s target area that (Turn to page 8) HENRY LIM (left, seated) chairman and CEO of SL Agritech Corp., shakes hands with Myanmar Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing during the latter s visit recently at the offices of SL Agritech s research and demonstration (R&D) hybrid rice farm in Barangay Oogong in Laguna. Those in photo are (from left, standing): Dr. Tin Htut, in charge of the national hybrid seed production in Myanmar; Kyaw Win, managing director of Myanmar Agricultural Services; Dr. Weijun Zu, SL Agritech vice president for international operation; Prof. Zhang Zhaodong, vice president for research and development; and former Food Minister Jesus Tanchanco. Lim attends rice industry conference in Cambodia With the presence of no less than His Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly, representing Prime Minister Samdech Decho Hun Sen who is also the chairman of the country s Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), the Cambodian Rice Industry Conference came to a close last October 18, with other high government officials and representatives from various industries including rice millers, traders and exporters; manufacturers and distributors of agricultural products and equipment, in attendance. Among the foreign guests invited to the affair were Henry Lim, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of SL Agritech Corp. and THIS photo was taken at the convention center where the recently-concluded rice industry conference in Cambodia was held. Among the foreign guests invited to the affair were Henry Lim (2nd from right) and Prof. Zhang Zhaodong (right), vice president for research and development of SL Agritech Corp. with Cambodian partners. Chinese rice scientist Zhang Zhaodong, SL Agritech vice president for research and development. Topics discussed during the whole-day conference included an Update of Cambodia s Comprehensive Rice Policy Progress; Optimizing the Value of the Rice Industry for Cambodia; Why Buy Cambodia Rice, and Rice Millers of Cambodia. Given the country s recent success in achieving surplus rice pro- (Turn to page 7)

2 2 GINTONG BUTIL NOV-DEC 2011 STAFF SANNY GALVEZ Biro ng isang kaibigan Apat na ang bansa sa Asia-- Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh at kasama na rin ang Nigeria sa Africa ang nag-aangkat ng hybrid rice seeds mula sa SL Agritech Corp. Gagaya na rin sa kanila ang Cambodia, Myanmar (dating Burma) at Brunei. Naniniwala ako na may malaking dahilan sila kung bakit nga ba sila pare-parehong nakumbinsi na magtanim ng uri ng palay na ito. Sa nakikita kong dahilan kumbinsido talaga sila na mas malaki ang kanilang aanihing palay kung ito ngang hybrid rice na punlang ito ang kanilang itatanim sa kani-kanilang bukirin. Biro nga ng kaibigan kong si Eli Cinco, columnist ng Manila Bulletin at dati kong kasamahan sa nasabing pahayagan Pilipinas o ang bayan na nga lang natin ang hindi pa nag-iimport ng hybrid rice seeds sa SL Agritech. Pati na ang Vietnam, kung saan dito tayo laging nag-aangkat ng bigas na milyon-milyong dolyar ang ating ginagasta, bumibili na rin ngayon sa SL Agritech ng hybrid rice seeds para ito na ang itanim nila sa kanilang mga bukirin. Ito ay sa dahilang gusto nilang lalu pang lumaki ang kanilang produksyon sa bigas sa pagtatanim nga ng hybrid rice seeds. Hindi basta-basta makukumbinsi Ang paliwanag sa akin ni G. Henry Lim, ang chairman at chief executive officer (CEO) ng SL Agritech, hindi mo sila (ang pitong bansang ito) basta makukumbinsi sa salita lamang na malaki ang kanilang aanihing palay kung ang aming teknolohiya ang kanilang gagamitin.. Ang tutuo, pumupunta pa dito sa aming tanggapan sa Makati ang kanikanilang mga representante at experto at dito pa lamang, sinusuri na nilang mabuti at gayundin sa kani-kanilang demonstration farm kung gaano ang kaibahan ng aming hybrid seeds kumpara sa uri ng palay na kanilang tinatanim sa kasalukuyan.. Katakataka ba na sa darating na araw, baka tayo na ang magiimport o aangkat ng bigas sa Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Burma, Nigeria, Cambodia and Africa? Katakataka nga ba? Posibleng mangyari ito hangga t alam n yo SANNY GALVEZ JOSEPHINE E. DUNGCA Editor Managing Editor Contributing Writers: Rudy A. Fernandez Conrad Cariño Carmina Cruz Jivin Relato Graphic Artists Anselmo Roque Jennifer Ng Carlo Caluag Photographers Gintong Butil is published bi-monthly by SL Agritech Corp., a division of Sterling Group of Companies, with editorial and business offices at 2302 Sterling Place, Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati City. Telefax No na ang ibig kong sabihin. May kumikita nga ba sa pag-iimport natin ng bigas sa ibang bansa? Ah, ewan! Nabanggit sa akin ni G. Lim ang China, na ayon sa kanya, ay hybrid rice ang karamihan nitong tinatanim kung kaya t supisyente sila sa bigas gayong ang pinakakaing tao ay umaabot sa 1.3 bilyon. At nakakapag-export pa nga sa ibang bansa! Huling bilin ng Ina ni G. Lim Tinatag namin ang SL Agritech para tulungan ang ating mga magsasaka na lumaki ang kanilang inaaning palay at kanilang kinikita. Ito ang huling bilin ng aming ina nang siya ay nabubuhay pa. She appeared in my dream encouraging me to pursue the hybrid rice technology project, sabi ni G. Lim. Yun na nga raw ang dahilan ng pagkakatatag noong 1998 ng SL Agritech Corp., isang dibisyon ng Sterling Paper Group of Companies, a family-owned corporation engaged in paper manufacturing, school and office supplies, furniture, retailing, call center and real estate development. Kung iisipin, sa lawak at laki ng negosyo ng kanyang pamilya, pwede ng hindi siya nagpupunta pa sa malalayong probinsya Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, sa Mindoro, Davao. Camarines, Mindanao at sa iba pang malalayong lugar sa bansa -- at lumulusong sa mga putikang bukid para bisitahin ang mga pananim na hybrid palay ng mga magsasaka at tinitiis ang init ng araw gayong pwede na lang na doon siya mamalagi sa kaniyang maganda at air-conditioned office sa Makati City na hindi pa mapuputikan ang kanyang mga paa o madadarang sa araw at mapapawisan ang kanyang katawan. Sa pasimula ng SL Agritech, nagpunta si G. Lim sa China kung saan, nakipagkita siya kay Prof. Yuan Longping, ang tinaguriang Father of Hybrid Rice sa China. Pinakitaan siya ng magandang loob ni Prof. Longping dahilan na rin sa sinabi niya ritong ang tanging layunin niya ay para matulungan ang mga Pilipinong magsasaka na mabigyan sila ng magandang buhay. Hindi nag-atubili si Prof. Longping at binigay sa kanya ang sekreto o teknolohiya ng hybrid rice at sa kanyang pagbabalik sa Pilipinas, kasama ang dalawang Chinese rice scientists na pinahiram sa kanya ni Prof. Longping upang tulungan siyang maisakatuparan ang kanyang itatayong bagong tanggapan, ito ngang SL Agritech na ngayon ay maituturing na pinakamalaking producer ng hybrid rice seeds sa buong bansa. At dito na nag-umpisang magparit-parito si G. Lim sa mga probinsya upang kumbinsihin ang mga magsasaka sa makabagong teknolohiya sa pagtatanim ng palay. Dito na rin siya nag-umpisang lumakad sa mga putikang bukid at maki halubilo sa mga magsasaka. Pagmamahal sa mga magsasaka Sabi nga ng isang opisyal sa kanyang tanggapan, Panata na ni Mr. Lim ang pagsunod sa bilin ng kanilang yumaong Ina kaya niya tinitiis ang lahat ng mga yan. Natanim na rin sa kanyang puso ang pagmamahal sa mga magsasaka, na ayon sa kanya, ay hindi pa lubos na nakakatanggap ng tulong mula sa pamahalaan. Sa isang pagkakataon, muli kaming nagkausap ni G. Lim at ito ay tungkol sa pagbebenta ng SL Agritech ng hybrid rice seeds sa Bangladesh, Malaysia, Burma, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Cambodia at Nigeria. Narito ang kanyang mga kasagutan sa aking mga tanong on seed exportation to these countries Lilimitan namin ito para naman mayroon tayong laging handang supply sa ating mga magsasaka. Mali naman yata kung uunahin pa nating makinabang ang mga magsasaka sa ibang bansa kesa sa ating magsasaka sa pagtatanim ng hybrid rice, kaya kami gumagawa ng ganitong hakbang. Ang aming tanging layunin ay matulungan ang ating mga magsasaka na lumago ang kanilang aanihing palay at lumaki rin ang kanilang kikitain sa pagsasaka, sabi ni Lim.

3 NOV-DEC 2011 GINTONG BUTIL 3 For the past many years, Eduardo Policarpio had been an inbred rice farmer in his family hometown in Barangay Palagay in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, until he switched sometime in 2003 to hybrid rice farming. My first try planting hybrid seeds was not what I expected the blight (palay bacteria) that will be making 316 cavans per hectare using the SL-8H hybrid seeds. Ngayon lang ito nangyari since I started farming at an early age with my father. I am really overwhelmed and happy, he said in an interview. Forty-eight, married to Rosela Sogo-an, with three children, all college scholars, while Badong is from San Nicolas, Camarines Sur. Henry Lim, chairman and CEO of SL Agritech Corp., the country s top producer of the SL-8H hybrid seeds, said NUEVA ECIJA FARMER TURNS IN IMPRESSIVE RICE YIELDS POLICARPIO infested my 2.5-hectare rice farm. But that did not dampen my enthusiasm to pursue my interest to plant the same SL- 8H hybrid variety dahil nakaharvest pa rin ako ng 120 cavans per hectare, compared to what I used to produce sa inbred -- only 70 to 80 cavans per hectare, said Mang Eddie who is a holder of a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU). Instead of directly answering my question how many cavans he made last year s dry season harvest that won him the coveted 2010 Gawad Saka Provincial Award given by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the provincial government of Nueva Ecija, Mang Eddie raised his hands and said with a big smile: Tinugon ng Dios ang aming panalangin. I didn t expect really that I Mang Eddie was also the recipient early this year of the Natatanging Magsasaka ng Dekada Award presented to him by Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Vergara; the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Butil Award as Outstanding Hybrid Rice Farmer; 2005 and 2006 Magsasaka Siyentista; and several other awards and commendations given by civic and government organizations. He is at present the chairman of the Makabagong Magsasaka ng Palagay Primary Multi- Purpose Cooperative which has 64 members. Policarpio s hybrid rice harvest per hectare of 316 cavans however, is 29.6 cavans short of farmer Severino Payumo s 2009 s harvest record of and 28 cavans less of Aida Badong s 344 cavans per hectare. Payumo and Policarpio are from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, it will take perhaps a year or more for someone who can break or duplicate Payumo s impressive record in hybrid rice production. Marami na ring magsa- saka ang umaani ng mahigit 250 hanggang 270 cavans per hectare pero kailangan pa rin nilang matutuhan ang tama at wastong teknolohiya sa pagtatanim ng hybrid rice para lalu pang lumaki ang kanilang ani at kita, he said. Payumo s recorded harvest of cavans per hectare in 2009 easily won for him the grand prize in the Search for Hybrid Rice Highest Yielder initiated the same year by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) of Nueva Ecija and 'Marami na ring magsasaka ang umaani ng mahigit 250 hanggang 270 cavans per hectare pero kailangan pa rin nilang matutuhan ang tama at wastong teknolohiya sa pagtatanim ng hybrid rice para lalu pang lumaki ang kanilang ani at kita.' SL Agritech Corp., in cooperation with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), National Food Authority (NFA), Central Luzon State University (CLSU), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Units (DA-RFU). --SANNY GALVEZ

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5 NOV-DEC GINTONG BUTIL DOÑA MARIA JASPONIC A RICE, ANYONE? 'Kapag naluto na, kahit sardinas o kamatis na may kaunting bagoong lang ang ulam mo, talagang gaganahan kang kumain lalu na kung mainit-init pa nga ang sinaing.' the grains achieve a soft, sticky and chewy texture enhanced further by their aroma, Lim said. I am very proud of the fact The Doña Maria Jasponica premium rice is fast becoming a very popular local brand not only because of its fragrant and delightful aroma but its exceptional eating quality as well. It s comparable to imported quality rice which is more expensive. I have tasted Doña Jasponica once and since then, I never tried to buy other kind of rice in the market, said Dr. Santiago Obien, former executive director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). Kapag naluto na, kahit sardinas o kamatis na may kaunting bagoong lang ang ulam mo, talagang gaganahan kang kumain lalu na kung mainit-init pa nga ang sinaing, he said. Sold in vacuum-sealed packs of two, five, 10 and 25 kilos in leading groceries and supermarkets, Doña Maria Jasponica is much cheaper than imported Thailand and Japanese rice. To be more affordable to people and also because of the clamor of more and more house- wives who have developed some sort of addiction to the Jasponica rice, SL Agritech Corp. has made it available also in vacuumsealed packs of 300 grams in the market. Doña Maria Jasponica is patronized by big hotels and restaurants in Metro Manila. Most Koreans, Japanese and Taiwanese restaurants operating in the country serve Jasponica rice not only because it has better quality but it is much cheaper than imported Thai jasmine rice and Japanese rice, said Henry Lim, chairman and CEO of SL Agritech. Another premium rice that has a growing following from local consumers is the Doña Maria Miponica. Aside from its exceptional eating quality, it is also blessed with the unique texture of Milagrosa rice. The two rice variants, produced by SL Agritech Corp. and named in honor of the mother of Henry Lim, combine the fragrant aroma of Jasmine rice and the excellent eating quality of Japanese rice. When cooked, The others who have commended the exceptional eating quality of Doña Maria Jasponica and Doña Maria Miponica, were...now becoming very popular among housewives. that the Doña Maria rice brand is now becoming very popular among housewives. It is also being patronized by big hotels and restaurants, Lim said, adding that Doña Maria hybrid grains are timely harvested, thus the maturity and fullness of the grains are export-quality guaranteed. former Food Minister and National Food Authority Administrator Jesus Tanchanco, Dr. Frisco Malabanan, former director of the Ginintuang Masagana Ani (GMA) hybrid rice program of the Department of Agriculture and former Ifugao Congressman Gualberto Lumauig who, like Malabanan, is also a rice farmer.

6 6 GINTONG BUTIL MYANMAR Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing (2nd from right, seated) as he is being briefed by rice scientist Dr. Weijun Xu, SL Agritech vice president for international operation, during the visit recently of the minister at the SL Agritech s hybrid rice seeds demonstration farm in Barangay Masapang in Laguna. Also in photo are Henry Lim (3rd from left, standing), Prof. Zhang Zhaodong (far right), vice president for research; and John Ba Maw (left) who was with Minister U s party. (From page 1) ready utilizing SL Agritech s hybrid rice technology. They are Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Vietnam where the Philippines has been importing billions of pesos worth of rice since Nigeria, which is considered the most populated country in Africa with over 140 million people, is also using SL Agritech s hybrid rice method or system. In the first quarter of 2012, we will initially export 50 metric tons of our SL-8H hybrid seeds to Nigeria. Siyempre, nag-karoon muna sila ng extensive field trials ng binhing ito bago sila nagdecide na mag-import, Lim said. Last year, Nigeria signed a memorandum of agreement with SL Agritech to adopt its hybrid rice Cambodia, Myanmar and Brunei to adopt SL Agritech's technology to increase its cereal production. Its goal is to develop its agriculture sector to create more jobs and provide food security to its populace. Just recently, Lim was in Brunei Darussalam with Dr. Noel Mamicpic and Dr. Frisco Malabanan, vice president for quality control and technical consultant, respectively, of SL Agritech, on the invitation of Mashhor General Contractor Sdn. Bhd. to discuss a possible joint venture agreement (JVA) on hybrid rice production project in Brunei. They were met by Permanent Secretary Hajah Normah S.H. Jamil and Deputy Permanent Secretary Hajah Hasnah, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources. Lim said Myanmar is another MINISTER U (6th from left) poses for a souvenir photo with Henry Lim (5th from left) and officials of SL Agritech, among them: Brian Lim, head, rice division; Dr. Noel Mamicpic, vice president for quality control; Dr. Weijun Xu, vice president for international operation; Prof. Zhang Zhaodong, vice president for research and development; former Food Minister Jesus Tanchanco and Dr. Frisco Malabanan, technical consultant. hybrid rice technology Asian country which is interested to utilize his firm s hybrid seed technology. Union Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, U Myint Hlaing, was in town over the weekend to discuss his plan to import hybrid rice seeds from us particularly our high-yielding SL-8H seeds variety, he said. The meeting with Minister U was held at the offices of SL Agritech s 43-hectare hybrid rice research and demo (R&D) farm in Barangay Oogong in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, where the Myanmar official was briefed on the firm s nationwide operation. Minister U also visited SL Agritech s 15.6-hectare demo farm in Barangay Masapang, also in Laguna, where Dr. Weijun Xu, a Chinese rice scientist who is vice president of SL Agritech for international operation, explained to him the efficient techniques of planting and harvesting hybrid rice. Dr. Weijun was formerly with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Also present during the Myanmar agriculture minister s visit were SL Agritech officials, among them Dr. Mamicpic, Prof. Zhang Zhaodong, vice president for research and development; Dr. Malabanan, Brian Lim, head of the firm s rice division and former Food Minister Jesus Tanchanco. John Ba Maw, in-charge of the Seed Department of the International Sun Moon Star Agriculture Co., Ltd. in Myanmar, who was with Minister U s party, said in an interview that he himself is convinced that using the hybrid seed technology will accelerate growth in our rice production. I strongly believe that hybrid rice production is our stepping stone towards the improvement of our agricultural economy, he said. While in Brunei, Lim s group also met with the staff of Mashhor group headed Wan Krisnadi Bte Haji Osman, general manager

7 7 PHOTO taken during a recent visit of Myanmar Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing (3rd from left) and the members of his party, at SL Agritech s 15.6-hectare hybrid rice demonstration farm in Barangay Masapang in Laguna. They are shown with officials of SL Agritech led by Henry Lim (2nd from left). of Hal-Foods SDN-BHD, Engr. Ferdinand de Chavez, Wan Shahin Hairuddin Bin Hj Ariffin, Dr. Hj Hatta B Hj Abidin, Mohd Saifur Rahman and Hj Osman Bin Haji Omar. Lim said Mashhor will visit the Philippines sometime this November to finalize the joint venture agreement and to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU). SL Agritech and Mashhor initially agreed to establish a fivehectare hybrid rice technology demonstration farm using our SL-8H, SL-7H and SL-9H hybrid rice varieties. The seeds will be provided by us free of charge and will hire a qualified staff from the Philippines to provide the technical assistance to Brunei during the production cycle. Lim explained. He said however, that Mashhor will have to pay for the plane fare, salary and accommodation of the technical staff from SL Agritech. Lim said the expansion of the hybrid rice production areas will be done after the initial field trials in Brunei, as well as in Sulawesi, Indonesia for Brunei Darussalam to achieve 60 percent self-sufficiency in rice production by Because of Brunei s increasing population, limited suitable land for rice growing, among others, the MYANMAR Agriculture Minister U Myint Hlaing (right), presents to Henry Lim a souvenir painting of a rice paddy in Myanmar. gap between production and demand has been widening, so much so that Brunei has to rely on imports, with over 95 percent of rice it consumes are being imported from other countries. (Turn to page 8) Lim attends rice industry conference in Cambodia (From page 1) duction, the Cambodian government intends to expand its production and export capacity to become a major rice exporting nation. Public statements by government ministers last year indicate that Cambodia wants to double its rice production by 2015 to approximately 15.0 million metric tons. HENRY LIM (left photo) poses with M. Gen. Suos Yara, Under Secretary of Cambodia s State Development Cooperation, Defense and Security; and Ang Mongkol (right photo), deputy general director of the Ministry of Interior, General Department of of Local Administration, after attending the Rice Industry Conference in Cambodia recently. MYANMAR Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing is shown second from left during a courtesy call at the office of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala (left) in Quezon City. Minister U and Myanmar Ambassador to the Philippines Amb. Win and his interpreter were accompanied by Henry Lim, chairman and CEO of SL Agritech Corp. MR. LIM poses for a souvenir photo while attending the Rice Industry Conference in Cambodia.

8 8 GINTONG BUTIL NOV-DEC 2011 Vietnam gets 2nd shipment of hybrid rice (From page 1) AN AIDE of Minister U (right), reads a copy of the past issue of Gintong Butil (GB), a bi-monthly publication of SL Agritech Corp. which has been in circulation since GB copies are distributed free to rice farmers and grains businessmen. Copies also filter into various government offices and business firms, particularly those engaged in agriculture. Also in photo is former Food Minister Jesus Tanchanco. HENRY LIM (2nd from left) chairman and CEO of SL members of the staff of Mashhor General Contractor Sdn. Agritech Corporation and Dr. Frisco Malabanan (2nd from Bhd. to discuss hybrid rice production project in Brunei. right), SL Agritech's technical consultant, at a meeting with will be planted to hybrid rice seeds would be 14,000 hectares. It is somewhat ironic that for the past many years, we have been importing billions of pesos worth of rice from Vietnam, pero heto, bumibili sila sa atin ng hybrid rice seed for planting in their farmlands. Naniniwala kasi sila na mas lalu pang lalaki ang kanilang aanihin sa pagtatanim ng hybrid rice, Lim said. The transaction was pursuant to the agreement entered into by SL Agritech and Dai Thanh Agritech Seed Co. of Vietnam in 2010.The accord calls for SL Agritech to initially ship 60 MT tons of its SL-8H super hybrid rice seeds to that country. Vietnam is one of the world s riches agricultural regions. It is the sixth Asian country to adopt SL Agritech s hybrid rice technology. Cambodia, Myanmar... (From page 7) After their meeting with Mashhor General Contractor Sdn. Bhd. From left to right: Dr. Noel Mamicpic, vicepresident for quality control of SL Agritech; Ferdinand de Chavez, Mashhor engineering division manager; Wan Shahin Hairuddin Bin Hjariffin, Mashhor business development manager; Henry Lim (4th from left); Hajah Normah S.H, Jamil, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Primary (MIPR); Hayah Hasnah, deputy permanent secretary (MIPR); Wan Krisnadi Bte Haji Osman, general manager of HAL Foods SDN BHD Mashhor; Dr. Frisco Malabanan, technical consultant of SL Agritech; and Dr. Hil Hotta B Hel. Zainal Abidin, head of the Local Business Development Coordination, Business Development Division, Mashhor. A research firm has cited the performance of SL Agritech's SL-8H hybrid rice seeds variety in terms of grains yield and other physiological characteristics. It says the variety "was better than other geno-types and yielded more grain in direct seeding condition compared to transplanted ones." SL Agritech Corp. has also earned international recognition from the China National Hybrid Rice Reseach and Development Center for its successful development and commercialization of the SL series of hybrid rice seed varieties in the Philippines.

9 NOV-DEC 2011 GINTONG BUTIL 9 We could be rice self-sufficient By BOO CHANCO Once upon a time, many Thai agriculturists learned their stuff from UP Los Banos, likely benefiting Thailand s export oriented rice industry. It had always been a mystery why we have failed to benefit from the scientific knowledge of our scientists in growing rice. We seem doomed to be a rice importer year after year. Last Thursday, PhilStar Lifestyle writer Wilson Lee Flores and I had coffee with a Filipino-Chinese entrepreneur who accidentally got himself in the rice growing business. Using inspiration and some technology from China s legendary Prof. Yuan Long Ping, UP alumnus Henry Lim Bon Liong has been able to develop a hybrid rice seed proven to triple harvest. Stung by the lukewarm reception from our government bureaucrats through the years, Henry now exports his hybrid seeds to other neighboring Asian countries including Vietnam, the country we import a lot of our rice from. That s like selling our intellectual property and importing back the produce. That s the sad story of our lives because our scientists and entrepreneurs get no respect at home. That s not all. Henry is now checking out Cambodia where he can get large tracts of land suitable for rice farming. Why Cambodia? Because Henry found out his rice variety can be planted and harvested cheaper there and without the headaches endemic in the Philippines from our faulty land reform program to blood sucking politicians. He will then export his produce to Singapore and other neighboring countries where there is a big market for premium rice. Henry did not graduate from UP Los Banos but from UP Engineering where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He claims to have just stumbled into the rice business. Over coffee at the UCC coffee shop in Corinthian Hills, Henry related to me and Wilson how he got involved in agriculture by chance. He got his inspiration, he said, when, as an officer of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce he had the privilege of having lunch with then Chinese Premier Zhu Rhong Ji at the Westin Philippine Plaza. Henry remembers Premier Zhu telling them that even if China did not produce a single grain of rice in one year, no Chinese will go hungry. Despite calamities and floods, the Chinese Premier told the FFCCC officials, China will still have so much rice that they do not have enough warehouses to store their stock. Henry said that at that moment he remembers hoping he will live to see the day when our President will finally be able to say something like that. Henry explained to us that China also had food problems in the past. Up to the early 80s, Henry recalled, life was difficult in China. More than 10 million people died of hunger every year. The Chinese government went into a massive farming program. But things turned around only because of the pioneering work of Prof. Yuan Long Ping, who came to be known as the world s father of hybrid rice technology. A Magsaysay Awardee, Prof Yuan is why China is self-sufficient in rice today in spite of its big population, Henry explains. Henry met Prof. Yuan in China through a common friend. Henry said he was lucky the professor instantly took a liking to him. The professor offered to assist him duplicate his success in growing hybrid rice in It is just that it is more profitable for our national leaders and bureaucrats to keep us import dependent. And that s the plain truth. China in the Philippines. Being the entrepreneur that he is, Henry immediately grabbed the opportunity even if he didn t know the first thing about growing rice, much less developing a proper hybrid. As soon as he got back home, Henry met with the experts at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños. He said he was amazed to learn there are over 190,000 varieties of rice and practically every available variety stored in IRRI. It made him wonder even more why we can t seem to get one variety that will work wonders in (Turn to page 11) SHOWN after attending a hybrid rice festival sponsored recently by SL Agritech in Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat, from left: Councilor Noel Antonio, Mayor Helen Latog (of Esperanza), Mayor Emilio Salamanca (of Pres. Quirino), Glen Garcia (Board Member of Sultan Kudarat), Dr. Frisco Malabanan, Mayor Bai Ruth Sakularan (of Sultan Kudarat), Tom Gimenez (VP-for Marketing-SL Agritech), Kagawad Ismael Macasayon, Nestor Casador (Provincial Agriculturist of Sultan Kudarat) and Kagawad Ibrahim Macasayon.

10 10 GINTONG BUTIL NOV-DEC 2011

11 NOV-DEC 2011 GINTONG BUTIL 11 Mga magsasaka sa Nueva Ecija tumanggap ng hybrid rice seeds (Mula sa pahina 12) at SL Agritech na ayon sa kanya ay tutuong kapuri-puri at ito y makapagbibigay ng bagong pagasa sa mga nabiktima ng bagyong Pedring at Quiel. Samantalang ang iba na may magagandang loob ay nagbigay ng kani-kanilang tulong sa mga nabiktima ng nasabing bagyo kagaya ng pagbibigay ng mga relief goods, ang ginawang ito ng PCCCI, PCCI at SL Agritech, sa aking kaalaman, ay mas mahalaga sa dahilang ito ay makakapag-paunlad ng kanilang kabuhayan sa kasalukuyan at sa hinaharap, dugtong pa ni G. Binay. Sa nasabing okasyon, pinasalamatan ni Lim sina Bise Presidente Binay, Francis Chua, Leo Sy, at Sergio Ortiz Luis sa inyong kabutihang loob at PINURI NI G. BINAY ANG GINAWANG TULONG NG PCCCI, PCCI AT SL AGRITECH SA MGA MAGSASAKA "NA TUTOONG KA- PURI-PURI NA ITO'Y NAKAPAGBIGAY NG BAGONG PAG-ASA SA MGA NABIKTI- MANG MAGSASAKA NG BAGYONG PEDRING AT QUIEL." ANG SL Agritech Corp., ang pinakamalaking prodyuser ng hybrid rice seeds sa bansa, ay patuloy na nagsasagawa ng malawakang technical briefing sa ikatututo ng mga magsasakang nagtatanim ng hybrid rice. Sa ganitong pagpupulong ay pinakikita at itinuturo ng mga tauhan ng SL Agritech ang wastong pagtatanim at pag-aalaga ng nasabing mataas na uring pananim. Ang larawang ito ay kuha habang ang ilang magsasaka sa Gapan, Nueva Ecija, ay nakikinig sa nasabing technical briefing na sinuportahan ng pamahalaan ng Nueva Ecija sa pangunguna ni Gov. Aurelio Umali. halimbawa ng pagmamalasakit sa kapwa. Sa ngalan ng aking tanggapan, pinasasalamatan ko kayong lahat ng buong puso. Sa ating mga magsasakang aming nabigyan ng kaunting tulong, umaasa ako na lalu pa ninyong pag-iibayuhin ang inyong sipag at tiaga sa pagpapalago ng inyo-inyong kabuhayan sa pagtatanim. We could be rice self-sufficient (From page 9) our country. Even the hybrid variety of Prof Yuan, Henry said, failed to deliver in his test farm. Because it is hotter here, the flowering comes too early and no grain can be formed. Henry said they tested 75 different types of hybrid rice from China, and all failed. Henry wondered if he should proceed with his venture. It was obvious, he said he should develop his own variety, but he thought, who am I to develop a variety that can be adapted to our tropical country if all these learned experts have failed? He said he eventually decided to take a leap of faith and bought a 40-hectare property in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, which served as the experimental farm for his hybrid rice. Prof. Yuan sent three of his scientists to help him in his quest. It was frustrating, he told us. One after another, their hybrids failed to deliver. The eureka moment came after a tragedy in Henry s life. He and his family had a very serious car accident in Subic which claimed the life of his mother and brother and injured him severely. Two months after the tragic car accident, one of the technicians lent to him by Prof Yuan, a Prof. Zhang who was the lead field scientist, saw his dead mother, standing before him. Henry relates, my mother directed him to go to the rice fields to inspect the rice flowers. Henry said Prof. Zhang was hesitant because it already took him all morning to look at all the flowers and got a negative result. They were about to clear the field to start all over again. But Prof Zhang said the vision of Henry s mother was insistent and gave instructions for the professor to look in Plot no. 8. Indeed, there it was, finally, success. Henry decided to call the hybrid variety SL8H after his father (Lim Seh Leng) and Plot 8 where they found the stabilization of the cross-pollinated flower. Henry formed SL Agritech Corporation, and they produced and sent the seeds to farmers in the north and south. The farmers came back with eight tons, 14 tons of palay per hectare where before they could produce only three tons per hectare, says Lim. Last year, we even got 17 tons per hectare. Rice self sufficiency is within our grasp, he told us, if only we can all work together and use the technology we ourselves developed. Our country has four million hectares of rice land but only one million hectares are fully irrigated, Henry points out. If we can only increase the yield from three tons to at least 10 tons per hectare, a lot of farmers can be rich. If we have just one additional farmer to do the transplanting, harvesting and hauling, you would have created a million additional jobs. Henry said if we can fully convert the million hectares of irrigated land to hybrid, there will be no more need to import rice. Our farmers here are the poorest of the poor, Henry laments. Our farmers often have no means to buy even cheap rice. The only logical thing to do is to increase the yield, then buy palay from our farmers rather than import. Can you imagine the multiplier effect? When the harvest is good, the farmers will have money to buy appliances and many other things that can give rise to a lot of other industries. Henry said he has seen this happen in a small way. When I go to the province, the farmers hug me and thank me for the increase in their harvest because of our hybrid variety, he relates. Now we know we can be self sufficient in rice. It is just that it is more profitable for our national leaders and bureaucrats to keep us import dependent. And that s the plain truth. (Reprinted from The Philippine Star)

12 Mga magsasaka sa Nueva Ecija tumanggap ng hybrid rice seeds KALOOB NG PHILIPPINE CHINESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, PHILIPPINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AT SL AGRITECH CORP. Hindi nakalimot ang pamunuan ng Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCCI) at Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) na pagkalooban ng tulong ang mga magsasaka sa Nueva Ecija na naging biktima ng dalawang magkasunod na bagyong Pedring at Quiel sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaloob ng libreng punla ng SL-8H hybrid rice. Ito ay bahagi ng Disaster Rehabilitation Program ng dalawang organisasyon sa pakikipag-isa sa SL Agritech Corporation, ang pinakamalaking prodyuser ng hybrid rice seeds sa bansa. Ang okasyon, na pinangunahan ni Vice President Jejomar Binay, Francis Chua, pangulo ng PCCCI, Sergio Ortiz Luis, chairman ng PCCI, Leo Sy, vice president ng PCCCI at Henry Lim, chairman at chief executive officer ng SL Agritech Corp. ay ginanap noong Nobyembre 6, Ni JOH DUNGCA sa apat na bayan sa Nueva Ecija Cabiao, San Jose, Sta. Rosa at Licab. Ang mga magsasaka sa Cabiao ay tumanggap ng 200 sako ng punlang SL-8H at gayon din sa San Jose, 100 sako; Sta. Rosa, 200 sako at sa Licab, 100 sako. VICE PRESIDENT BINAY Sa kanyang maikling pangu-ngusap, pinuri ni G. Binay ang ginawang tulong sa mga magsasaka sng PCCCI, PCCI (Sundan sa pahina 11) MAKIKITA si Vice President Jejomar Binay (gitna) habang inaabot sa isang magsasaka sa bayan ng Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, ang isang sako ng SL-8H hybrid rice seeds na kaloob ng Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCCI), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) at SL Agritech Corp. Nasa gawing kaliwa si Henry Lim, chairman at chief executive officer (CEO) ng SL Agritech Corp., Francis Chua, pangulo ng PCCCI at Mayor Baby Congco ng Cabiao. ANG ilan sa mga magsasaka sa Licab, Nueva Ecija, na tumanggap ng libreng binhing SL-8H hybrid rice seeds. Panglima mula sa kaliwa ay si G. Henry Lim kasama ang kanyang maybahay na si Rita Lim (pangalawa sa kanan).

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