The Agriculture Department said Wednesday it is set to seal a partnership with Filipino rubber farmer groups and a Finland–based tire manufacturer for the construction of a $200-million tire processing facility in Southern Mindanao.
The agency said Black Donuts Engineering Inc. president and chief executive Kai Hauvala met Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol for an initial briefing on the rubber industry in the Philippines before heading to Davao and North Cotabato for site validation and assessment.
The Mindanao visit seeks to determine whether Filipino rubber farmers have the capabilities to supply the raw material needs of the planned factory.
Black Donuts will help in the construction, operations and capability-building and training of farmers while the department will organize farmers through a National Cooperative for Farmers and Fisherfolks who will join the initiative, according to the agency.
“We just have to get good farmers that are willing to abide with the rules and participate in rural development projects of the government,” Piñol said.
The Agriculture Department said once operational, the facility would produce a tire brand which could be used for passenger vehicles, cargo, small pick-ups and agricultural machineries.
The project is expected to increase areas for planting and replanting by at least 150,000 hectares and increase the production of dry rubber per year in the next 10 years to at least 150,000 metric tons.
The Philippines produced 110,000 tons of rubber last year.