HIROSHIMA, JAPAN — Satake Corp. completed a rice processing plant for Chen Yi Agventures, Inc. in East Visayan region, Philippines.

Chen Yi’s rice processing complex built in Alangalang near Tacloban on Leyte Island is the largest rice milling facility in the region, with 10 30-tonne grain dryers and 7 tph processing lines. Satake received the order of the plant design and equipment for the whole processing line, based on its advanced technology and longtime contribution to the rice industry in the country.

Rice cultivation is a major industry on the island of Leyte. However, it has been struggling to improve the productivity mainly due to all the manual labor involved in rice cultivation, Satake said. As a result, farmers had lower incomes than the national average. In addition, Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 (locally named Yolanda in the Philippines) caused enormous damage, requiring massive reconstruction aid for the local community and economy.

In 2016, Patrick Renucci, a prominent French entrepreneur, and his Chinese-Filipino wife Rachel, also a successful entrepreneur in Hong Kong, organized Chen Yi Agventures to involve and support rice cultivation on Leyte Island.

The corporation holds up “Rice Revolution” as its goal; increase farmer’s income by improving rice production efficiency through mechanization, while producing high-quality rice. Furthermore, Chen Yi will be involved with all aspects of rice cultivation in the region by supplying rice seeds, providing technical guidance for cultivation, and even low-interest loans to farmers.

“To support Leyte farmers, we need fundamental reforms in rice cultivation,” Renucci said. “We will become the largest rice producer in the Visayas and Mindanao regions and increase production efficiently. Using Stake equipment and technology, Chen Yi Agventures’ rice processing complex is the most technologically advanced facility in South East Asia. This facility and mechanization of rice farming will reduce production costs and raise the quality of rice from this region. As the Philippines still imports rice, premium rice produced at the island of Leyte will be as competitive as the imported rice, which will result in not just a short-term aide to the community but also a long-term increase of farmers’ incomes by establishing a true sustainable agriculture.”