BASF Philippines opens Rice Knowledge Center in Laguna


Chemical firm BASF Philippines Inc. (BASF) would leverage its P5-million Rice Knowledge Center (RKC) in Laguna to boost the sales of its crop-protection products in the Philippines.

Dion Banaay, BASF’s head of RKC, said the establishment of the center would allow the company to source vital and pertinent information on rice production and formulate chemical solutions accordingly.

“Right now in Asia Pacific, the business of BASF in rice is very low, [it is only] around 3 percent of the market share of the whole Asia Pacific. We want to build the rice business in the region,” Banaay told the BusinessMirror on the sidelines of the inauguration of the BASF’s RKC in Bay, Laguna, on December 5.

“We really have to improve our knowledge on rice. Knowing rice more [would allow] us to position our products also,” Banaay added.

Banaay said the RKC would serve as a product-launching platform for their pesticide products for rice. He added that they are currently selling two herbicide and two insectice products for rice in the local market.

Through the RKC, the BASF said it would collect and manage technical information and data in regards to crop-protection solutions and bet practices for rice cultivation.

The RKC would also serve as a knowledge hub for the latest information, publications and training materials pertaining to rice cultivation to all BASF crop-protection staff across the region and around the globe, according to the company.

Banaay said they are initially partnering with the Philippine Rice Research Institute and the International Rice Research Institute for the information on rice cultivation, including data on pests, planting methods and crop varieties.

BASF said the RKC would also serve as a venue for the conduct of hands-on technical trainings to develop and strengthen the technical expertise among the company’s research and development, technical support, marketing and sales teams.

Banaay added the RKC was conceptualized by BASF three years ago and expected to undergo three phases of development.

The first phase involves the establishment of the center and a digital library, which would contain information on BASF’s crop-protection solutions.

The second phase, which is eyed to be completed by 2019-2020, involves the creation of farm-demonstration trials to help “rice champions” promote the company’s products. The third and final phase, which is expected to run from 2021 to 2022, seeks to open the RKC to the public and share the knowledge the hub has collected and gathered for the past years to rice farmers.

For next year, BASF plans to invest some €100,000 (almost P6 million) for the development of the next phases of the RKC, according to Banaay.


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