Benguet State University

BSU alumnus is new agriculture secretary

By upao - Posted on 12 September 2019


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Dr. William D. Dar, a BSU alumnus was appointed as secretary of the Department of Agriculture by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on August 5, 2019. He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education in 1973 and Master of Science in Agronomy in 1977 when BSU was still Mountain State Agricultural College (MSAC).

He later served as a researcher, faculty member and Vice President for Research and Development and HARC Consortium Director. In 1987, DA Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III appointed him as the first director of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and in 1994 became the executive director of then PCARRD, now called the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, in Los Baños, Laguna. He was selected as Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India in 1999 and served three 5-year terms.

He served ICRISAT with distinction as the transformational and servant leader for 15 years championing the cause of small farmers in the developing countries of Asia and Africa.

“After ICRISAT, I fervently wish for William D. Dar to come back to his native land and serve the Filipino people with fresh vigor and dedication,” wrote retired BSU professor and researcher Lorenza G. Lirio in a tribute to Dr. Dar in 2014. Her wish came true when after Dr. Dar’s stay at ICRISAT, he returned to the Philippines and started the Inang Lupa Movement, a social movement working for a science-based climate smart and competitive Philippine agriculture for social and economic empowerment of smallholder farmers.

Now as acting Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Dar took on the nickname, “Manong Willie” as he laid the eight paradigms to level up Philippine agriculture.

These includes: modernization must continue; industrialization of agriculture is the key; promotion of export is a necessity; consolidation of small and medium size farms; infrastructure development should also be critical; higher budget and investment for Philippine agriculture; legislative support is needed; and roadmap development is paramount.
Sources:;; and WDD-Hinirang na Anak ng Inang-Lupa