Agri group says 'Masagana 150' achievable if farmers get support
Government can lower rice prices by increasing production through the "Masagana 150" program if it will provide farmers the necessary support, an agriculture group said Friday.
The Department of Agriculture recently said it was studying the program, which targets producing 150 cavans of rice per hectare through new technology.
Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food president Danilo Fausto said farmers can meet this harvest target if they use hybrid seeds and if the government helps them with fertilizers and irrigation.
“Yung programa na ‘yan ay achievable yon dahil pag gumamit ka ng hybrid seeds, eh talaga namang kaya mong umani ng 7.5 metric tons per hectare. Yung 7.5 sa metric tons, kung idi-divide mo ng 50 kilos per cavan, nasa 150 cavans,” he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(This program is achievable because if you use hybrid seeds, then you can harvest 7.5 metric tons per hectare. If you divide 7.5 metric tons by 50 kilos per cavan, that's 150 cavans.)
“Achievable yan, basta importante suportahan lang ng proper pagbibigay ng fertilizer, atsaka ng irigasyon, ng tubig,” he added.
(That's achievable, what matters is they are given the proper fertilizer and irrigation.)
Fausto said a “Masagana 200” program is even achievable, should the government wish to pursue it.
“Kakayanin 'yan sa ibang lugar namin…yung Masagana 200 kasi, ibig sabihin noon 10 tonelada ang harvest yield ng isang ektarya... 'Pag gumamit ka talaga ng hybrid seeds, e kakayanin mo, between 75 to 10 tons eh,” he said.
(That is achievable in some of our areas...Masagana 200 means 10 tons of harvest in a hectare... If you use hybrid seeds you can harvest between 7.5 to 10 tons.)
“Kailangan lang eh talagang sustenado siya sa pagbibigay ng abono, atsaka ang patubig ay managed properly.”
(You just need to sustain it with proper fertilizer and irrigation.)
Masagana 99, a similar program of President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., aimed to increase rice production by giving farmers high-yielding rice varieties through loans. The policy was discontinued as it left farmers in deeper debt.
Former Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who served as President Corazon Aquino's agriculture chief from 1987 to 1989, said "about 800 rural banks" were bankrupted by Masagana 99.
— TeleRadyo, 22 July 2022