The Department of Agriculture (DA) said a proposal to boost rice production inspired by an initiative from the term of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr. holds the potential to bring yields to 7.5 tons per hectare from fields planted to inbred rice.

The so-called Masagana 150 program is also expected to bring production costs down to P7.82 per kilogram, with farmers earning a net profit of at least P70,000, assuming a market price of P27.50 per kilogram.

“We are now drawing from the Masagana 99 program of late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, but this time heeding the call of the times,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said at a virtual press conference on his last full day in office.

Mr. Dar will be succeeded by President-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., who will serve as his own government’s Agriculture Secretary.

Mr. Dar also outlined a Masagana 200 program which has even more ambitious yield target of 10 tons per hectare on fields planted to hybrid rice.

Masagana 99 was launched in 1973 by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr. to boost rice production.

“As I step down… I am sincerely, genuinely happy to leave a solid foundation for Philippine agriculture in the next 10 years, and I earnestly hope that this incoming administration will continue the DA’s current programs guided by the OneDA Reform Agenda,” Mr. Dar said. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson