Henry Lim Bon Liong
Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong is the man behind the multi-awarded Sterling Paper brand. He is the eldest son of Chinese migrant Lim SehLeng who began the business starting with book binding and photo album manufacturing.
A mechanical engineering graduate of UP Diliman, Lim took over of the family business in 1976 when his father met an accident on a business trip to Hong Kong. The business grew with the help of his brothers and sisters and they diversified to other ventures, the latest of which is hybrid rice production.
Dr. Lim’s passion for hybrid rice was an unintended off-shoot of a casual conversation hehad with friend and former President Joseph Estrada about China’s sufficiency in rice despite its ballooning population. Lim, realizing he didn’t even know how much a kilo of rice costs,embarked on a long and intense research—a journey that would shortly change the course of his life.
In 2000, SL Agritech was born. Armed with a vision of a rice self-sufficient Philippines and the support of his family, friends, and Prof. Yuan Longping, the Father of Hybrid Rice, Lim’s team created the first Philippine tropical hybrid rice variety—SL-8H!
Since its commercialization in the early 2000s, SL-8H has revolutionized rice production in the country and some parts of Tropical Asia. SL Agritech became the leading commercial producer of rice seeds that have significantly raised the yield and income of farmers from the Philippines and other Asian countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar, etc.
SL Agritech eventually ventured into premium rice exportation with its flagship rice brand Doña Maria entering various Asian and US markets in 2013.
To this day, Lim actively promotes hybrid rice technology to the Philippines and its neighboring countries believing it is key to solving the twin problem of hunger and poverty.