Kalinga meets Unoy rice quota for US market
by L. Lopez
TABUK CITY, Kalinga (20 October) -- Unoy rice farmers of the province meet the 10- ton shipment quota this year of their produce intended for the international market through the Revitalized Indigenous Cordillera Entrepreneur, Inc. (RICE), based in Montana, USA.
Provincial Agriculturist Gerry Jose said the shipment quota increase was a challenge given to Unoy farmers of the province after they were given trainings in advance production technology and quality control by the RICE last year.
In 2006, the shipment quota given to Kalinga was five tons. Kalinga Unoy trade to Montana started in 2005 with an initial shipment of 700 kgs. RICE buys it at P50/kilo from farmers.
Unoy rice industry gained headway here in the province through the assistance of RICE, Inc. with its representative Vicky Garcia, who conducted community organizing to upland farmers.
Garcia introduced the concept of federating the groups of Unoy producers from different villages here for them to better avail of projects and assistance.
It was among the intentions of RICE to empower upland farmers who usually do not find easy access to technology and market of their products.
Aside from acquiring advanced production technology, Unoy farmers here have improved to operate as an organization and are now even capable of business transactions.
Because of increasing demand in the international market, Unoy farming is closely assisted by the Department of Agriculture.
DA is doing a research on the technology suited for this rice variety to improve its production rate, since the area devoted to Unoy farming is very limited.
Jose said the Bureau of Post-harvest Research and Extension (BPRE) is now introducing a rice mill machine for Unoy that does not affect its nutrition content and maintains the grains' red color.
Presently, Unoy rice is milled manually to meet the quality standards of the US market. Kalinga Unoy, which is produced purely organic, is a top consumer preference at the US market because of its extra-ordinary aroma and taste. (PIA Kalinga) [top]