MANILA, Philippines — SL Agritech Corp., the country’s top hybrid rice producer, has listed P2 billion worth of commercial papers (CPs) in the Philippine Dealing Exchange Corp. (PDEx) to fund its precedent setting rice self-sufficiency program.
SL Agritech chairman and CEO Henry Lim Bon-Liong made the ceremonial ringing of the bell together with PDS Group president Ma. Theresa Ravalo at the function room of the PDS’ office to signify the start of trading for the company’s debt notes which were four times oversubscribed.
Part of the proceeds of the commercial paper float would be used to purchase palay from farmers above par and the production of hybrid seeds to be advanced to farmers that would then be offset against their palay harvest.
SL Agritech considers itself a social enterprise that aims to alleviate the lives of farmers with its operational activities. Hybrid rice raises the palay harvest of farmers to eight to 12 tons per hectare compared to conventional rice of from three to four tons a hectare.
Lim said that the way forward for the farmers affected by the Rice Tariffication Law is to adapt the hybrid rice technology even as he pointed out that the company’s Doña Maria rice brand is not affected by the law and continues to be top of mindof rice buyers.
“Even with Rice Tariffication Law, farmers using our seed varieties as well as contract growers are continuously reaping the benefit of hybrid rice seed technology,” Lim said after the ceremonial bell ringing. He said that with the increase in demand for their seeds and rice, most of the proceeds of the CPs will be used to help farmers grossly affected by the recent development, to shift to hybrid rice seed technology.
SL Agritech earlier launched its Masaganang Ani 300 program where farmers who use the hybrid rice seeds vie for the Top Ten producers of at least 300 cavans of palay per hectare. The Top Ten farmers are to be feted in ceremonies set in Malacañang Palace with President Duterte honoring the winning farmers.
Lim said that the company is expanding its international operations and it has already established subsidiaries in Myanmar, Indonesia and India. “These countries continue to show great potential growth,” he said.
“I expect India to surpass Philippine performance due to its high population and large arable land area. Early this month, we also just signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Bangladesh government for the supply of our top-performing hybrid seeds””.
Read more at https://www.philstar.com/business/2019/09/23/1953983/sl-agritech-lists-p2-billion-worth-cps#rYoLMwpRh3DFoJZ7.99