Two locally-developed technologies aimed to address the most common predicament of Filipino rice farmers after harvest are now being commercialized by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).
PhilMech Executive Director Rex Bingabing said the two technologies– the fluidized bed dryer and brown rice huller—will be very beneficial to local farmers.
Bingabing said that, “the moment local companies begin fabricating the two technologies, farmers and millers can to efficiently dry and mill rice.”
The fluidized bed drying system was built to accommodate large volumes of high-moisture paddy rice for drying during the rainy months, when drying under the sun isn’t possible.
The technology allows hot air or gas flow to pass through wet paddy rice for a short duration which results to fluidization on the drying bed, eliminating grain clumping and results to uniform efficient drying.
PhilMech field tests show that the optimal drying time for palay with 24% moisture content to 14% final moisture content using the fluidized bed dryer can be attained in about three hours, compared to the 8 to 12 hours required in conventional mechanical drying.
“With the fluidized bed dryer, drying time is significantly reduced by 52% and consequently the drying cost is likewise lessened,” Bingabing explained.
Powered by a biomass furnace that uses rice hull as energy source the machine that has a capacity to dry 500 kilograms of wet paddy rice at a cost of P 0.63 per kilogram.
“In addition there is no risk in overheating the grains since drying temperature can be preset. Because of this, the quality of grains dried using the fluidized bed drier is better compared to conventional mechanical driers,” Bingabing said.
The dryer is fully automated, requires low energy, and made of locally available materials.
The second technology—the brown rice huller—was developed to address the milling needs of farmers’ and retailers’ as a response to growing demand from consumers.
The brown rice huller is a village-level, impeller-type rice mill with an input capacity of 150 kg per hour, husking ratio of 98%, and whole-grain ratio of 78%.
The power requirement of the 95-kilogram huller is 373 watts from a single-phase electric motor, much lower than the conventional rubber-roll huller so cost of milling is reduced.
Bingabing said that the two new technologies are products of the so-called “Agrinnovation”, an R&D approach which tap and modify existing technologies for the needs of the country’s farmers and stakeholders.
Using this approach, PhilMech is able to advance the development of prototype through collaboration with domestic fabricators and manufacturers. # Source - (Marlo Asis/AFID/www.da.gov.ph)