Hybrid rice company promotes food self-sufficiency


SL Agritech Corp., the pioneer of local hybrid rice production, aims to solve the country’s food security problem by championing solutions for a resilient agricultural sector.

SL Agritech Corp. CEO Dr Henry Lim Bon Liong

“As a country that consumes a lot of rice, I believe that our technology is capable of meeting the growing demand for rice in our country,” says Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, Managing Director of SL Agritech.

“My goal, not only for SL Agritech but also for the country, is to enable the use of hybrid rice technology that would boost our rice production while increasing the net income of our farmers,” he says.

To help create a more rice-rich country, the company continues to invest in the research and development of hybrid rice varieties to improve rice production.

SL Agritech supports thousands of farming communities through several programs aimed at doubling or even tripling farmers’ harvest to meet the growing demand for rice while increasing their income.

As the largest hybrid rice producer in the country, SL Agritech launched the Masaganang Ani 300 program in 2020 to increase rice productivity.

Through the program, farmers were able to produce 300 to 339 cavans of rice, equivalent to more than 15 metric tons of rice production using hybrid rice seed.

Before the adoption of hybrid rice technology in the country, Nueva Ecija, considered the rice bowl of the Philippines, could only produce 870,000 metric tons of rice per year with an average yield of 3.6 tons per hectare.

With the use of hybrid rice seeds, their yield has increased to an average of 4.81 tons per hectare, which encourages other farmers to follow their example. To date, their annual palay production is over 2 million tons with an average yield of 6.9 tons per hectare.

Hybrid rice seeds come from two different parents, known to display “hybrid vigor” and are expected to produce more than inbred rice varieties. In 2000, SL Agritech proudly discovered the high yielding seed variety SL-8H.

Since then, other SL varieties have been introduced with yields ranging from 7 to 15 tonnes per hectare even under the most adverse climatic conditions.
Michelle Lim-Gankee, Executive Vice President of SL Agritech, says, “Our team is committed to initiating research and development initiatives in the hope of continuously discovering high-yielding rice varieties that would meet the demand of our compatriots while improving the lives of our farmers. .”

“With these varieties, we have a head start in combating the threat of food shortages, because farmers can then produce rice with strong panicles and stems, which ultimately translates into a higher yield,” she says.

SL Agritech has over 3,000 people in its research, production and administrative facilities in Makati, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac and Davao.

The company is also heavily involved in the production of milled rice through its network of contract growers who exclusively grow Doña Maria premium rice and Willy Farms rice.

Among their most popular packaged rice products is Jasponica rice, a variety that combines the aroma of jasmine rice with the sweetness of Japanese rice. Another is Willy Farms Premium Dinorado – a more affordable variety and known as “special all-occasion rice” due to its versatility.

SL Agritech also offers a healthier alternative to white rice – a wide selection of brown rice such as Jasponica brown rice and Miponica brown rice.

The main objective of SL Agritech is to help improve the lives of rice farmers while meeting the country’s rice sufficiency goal through hybrid rice seed technology.

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