SL Agritech Corp., the pioneer in local hybrid rice production, aims to address the country’s food security problem by championing solutions for a resilient agriculture sector.
“As a country that is heavy on rice consumption, I believe that our technology is capable of meeting our country’s growing demand for rice,” says Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, chief executive of SL Agritech.
“My goal, not just for SL Agritech but also for the country, is to enable the utilization 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-sufficient country, the company continues to invest in research and development of hybrid rice varieties to improve rice production.
SL Agritech supports thousands of farming communities through several programs geared toward doubling or even tripling the farmers’ harvest to meet the growing demand for rice while also increasing their income.
As the country’s biggest hybrid rice producer, 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 seeds.
Prior to the adoption of hybrid rice technology in the country, Nueva Ecija, considered as the rice granary of the Philippines, can only produce 870,000 metric tons of rice annually with an average yield of 3.6 tons per hectare.
With the use of hybrid rice seeds, their yield increased to an average of 4.81 tons per hectare which encourages other farmers to follow suit. To date, their annual palay production is more than 2 million tons with an average yield of 6.9 tons a hectare.
Hybrid rice seeds are bred from two different parents, known to display “hybrid vigor” and are expected to out-yield inbred rice varieties. In 2000, SL Agritech proudly discovered the high yielding SL-8H seed variety.
Since then, other SL varieties were introduced with yields ranging from 7 to 15 tons per hectare even at the most unfavorable climatic condition.
Michelle Lim-Gankee, executive vice oresident of SL Agritech says, “Our team is committed to pioneering research and development initiatives with the hope to continuously discover high-yielding rice varieties that would meet the demand of our countrymen while uplifting the lives of our farmers.”
“With these varieties, we are one step ahead of battling the threat of food shortages because farmers can then produce rice crops with robust panicles and stems, which eventually translates to a higher yield,” she says.
SL Agritech has more than 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 milled rice production through its network of contract growers that exclusively grow Doña Maria Premium Quality Rice and Willy Farms Rice.
Among their more popular packaged rice products are the Jasponica Rice—a variety that combines the aroma of Jasmine rice and the softness of Japanese rice. Another is Willy Farms Premium Dinorado – a more affordable variety and known as a “special all occasion rice” because of versatility.
SL Agritech also offers a healthier alternative to white rice—a wide selection of brown rice like the Jasponica Brown Rice and the Miponica Brown Rice.
SL Agritech’s main goal is to help improve the lives of rice farmers while addressing the country’s rice sufficiency goal through hybrid rice seed technology.