Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Marcos approves Masagana agri roadmap, targets self-sufficiency by 2028

Iya Gozum

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Marcos approves Masagana agri roadmap, targets self-sufficiency by 2028


President Marcos targets 97.4% rice self-sufficiency within five years, says this is enough to feed all Filipinos

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program (MRIPD) on Wednesday, May 31, during the Rice Industry Convergence Meeting at the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Quezon City.

“It is essentially a roadmap to the eventual goal of reaching 97.4% self-sufficiency for rice,” explained Marcos in an ambush interview at another event on the same day. 

According to the President, the 97.4% target is enough to reach rice self-sufficiency by 2028. 

“[A]t 97% masasabi na natin mapapakain na natin lahat ng ating mga kababayan ng may sapat na bigas and supply,” Marcos said. (At 97%, we can already say Filipinos will have enough supply of rice to eat.)

The roadmap is supposed to boost local rice production and prioritize “the welfare of Filipino farmers” as well as provide higher income for them.

Currently, the Philippines is the world’s second-biggest rice buyer just behind China.

Before setting the 2028 target, Marcos said back in February that two years is enough to reach self-sufficiency if the Department of Agriculture reorganizes and cooperates with other agencies. Former agriculture chief Leonardo Montemayor, however, commented that this deadline is “over ambitious.” 

According to the Presidential Communications Office, the convergence meeting aimed to foster cooperation among concerned government agencies. Eventually, they would engage with the private sector, farmers’ cooperatives, said Marcos. 

To reach self-sufficiency, the sector must also update farming technologies. Introducing new technology to farmers is also a way to make the sector more inviting for younger people. Marcos admitted, “[T]here are new technologies na talagang dapat nating tingnan but we are not there yet.” 

During the meeting, various strategies to implement MRIPD were identified, namely: climate change adaptation, farm clustering, consolidation of intervention, value chain approach, and digital transformation. 

Last year, the President reiterated this promise to bring down rice prices to as low as P20 per kilo. “The 20 pesos was really the goal,” Marcos said then.

Since he took over as agriculture chief, Marcos was set on reimplementing the agricultural program from his father’s days, the Masagana 99, now refurbished as the Masagana 150 and Masagana 200, to shore up rice production.

READ: Dominguez schools Imee Marcos: Masagana program left farmers in debt

– Rappler.com

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Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum covers the environment, agriculture, and science beats for Rappler.