KIANGAN, Ifugao – A P6 million worth Regional Center for Heirloom Rice will soon rise in barangay Hucab here to serve as a processing center for “tinawon” (Ifugao native rice).
Governor Denis Habawel and Department of Agriculture (DA) Cordillera Administrative Region director Marilyn V. Sta Catalina led the ground breaking ceremony witnessed by other government officials recently.
Sta. Catalina hopes that the project will be completed in five months.
Jimmy Lingayo, president of the Provincial Agriculture and Fishery Council, explained that the center will provide services for the processing and marketing of the Ifugao native rice.
“Tinawon” is harvested once a year as compared to the commercial rice which yields three times a year, however the quality and market value is thrice that of commercial rice. Tinawon is being exported to the USA and other countries.
Stressing the cultural and heritage value of the “tinawon”, Habawel said that having the regional center for heirloom rice is historical for Ifugaos as it will have a part in keeping the unique identity alive. He urged that “tinawon” production be preserved and continued despite the influx of commercial rice.
According to Sta. Maria, there are similar centers in Kalinga, Bontoc in Mountain Province, Banaue and Hungduan (Ifugao) but the Hucab center will be nearer and more accessible to more people, farmers and tourists.