![FB_IMG_1684432555593.jpg](https://storage.googleapis.com/mb-mkt-neo-prod-1-uploads/FB_IMG_1684432555593_ae2113f838/FB_IMG_1684432555593_ae2113f838.jpg) Quezon 1st district Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga (left) and Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Zaldy Co. (Facebook)

Investing in modern rice mills can be a game changer for the Philippine rice industry, according to Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Zaldy Co. Co shared this thought--and many others--during his recent meeting with Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary for Rice Industry Development Leocadio Sebastian, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Acting Administrator Eduardo “Eddie” Guillen, and other officials of the DA. The chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations acknowledged the importance of integrating technology and innovation in the bid to improve rice production in the country. "We need to adopt modern techniques and technologies that can help us increase our yield and improve the quality of our rice. We also need to ensure that these technologies are accessible and affordable to our farmers," he said. "We need to upgrade our rice processing capabilities to ensure efficient and high-quality production. By establishing modern rice mills, we can minimize post-harvest losses and enhance the competitiveness of our local rice industry," noted Co, a second-term congressman. He said that it's also crucial to enhance local farming infrastructures including irrigation systems, farm-to-market roads, and storage facilities. "These improvements will not only increase productivity but also provide better access for farmers to markets, enabling them to maximize their profits," reckoned the Bicolano. Co further highlighted the need for the government to prioritize these initiatives and allocate sufficient funds to support the development of rice production and farming infrastructure. "Investing in these areas will have a long-term positive impact on our agricultural sector. It will create employment opportunities, improve the income of our farmers, and contribute to the overall growth and stability of our economy.," he explained. Co said the meeting was held by order of House Speaker Martin Romualdez of Leyte's 1st district. Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairman and Quezon 1st district Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga also took part in the meeting, which sought to find solutions to the rising cost of rice in the country and ensure a stable rice supply. Rice is a staple food for Filipinos.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2023/5/18/modern-rice-mills-are-key-house-leader-tells-da-execs)