October launch of Masagana rice programs in sight

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) aims to launch two programs by October this year to boost the country’s rice production, a department official said on Tuesday.

In a chance interview, Assistant Agriculture Secretary Arnel de Mesa said the DA would request an additional budget of 4 billion pesos to implement the Masagana 150 and Masagana 200 rice production programs.

Masagana 150 targets a yield of 7.5 tonnes of inbred rice per hectare at a production cost of 8.38 pula per kilo. This will result in a net profit of at least P50,000 per hectare for the farmers and a market price of P27.50 per kilo.

Masagana 200 targets a yield of 10 tons of hybrid rice per hectare at a production cost of P7.82 per kilo.

De Mesa told reporters that the two initiatives would initially be funded by the agency’s National Rice Program and the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

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