Biotech Japan Corporation officials and other stakeholders shown here during the ground breaking ceremony for its low-protein rice technology factory in Tarlac.

A Japanese biotech company plans to construct a new factory for its low-protein rice technology in Tarlac to help address the country’s health concern on chronic kidney diseases (CKD).
Biotech Japan Corporation (BTJ) has introduced its low protein rice technology to countries like the Philippines to help delay progression of CKD and decrease the costs of medical treatments of these patients.

The Philippines recorded some 23,000 Filipinos undergoing dialysis treatments in 2013, which is four times higher compared to 2004.

“Japanese private sector possesses technological innovations and human resources that can have positive impact on the welfare of people in our partner countries,” Yukinori Watanabe, the Philippines project formulation advisor of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said. Watanabe added that “JICA welcomed the sharing of this innovation of low protein rice technology to address one of Philippines’ health burdens.”

This will be BTJ’s second factory after its first factory was erected in Batangas last year.

Such initiative by BTJ in the Philippines stems from the partnership with the Japanese Private Sector initiative of JICA that serves as a channel for Japanese companies to jointly impart their breakthroughs to help address issues in JICA partner countries.

Watanabe stressed that this is a “win-win partnership between JICA and the Philippines since the program will also support business expansion of Japanese companies, while also making a social impact in a partner country.”
Targeted to be launched middle of next year, the factory will generate 20,000 rice packs production capacity daily, which will also help improve Tarlac’s rice supply chain under the Rice Revolution 21 program.  (Jojo Mangahis)