In a bid to help stem the skyrocketing prices of fertilizers due to tight global supply, the Department of Agriculture (DA) of the Philippines is encouraging farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) to import fertilizers directly from international producers and suppliers to reduce the farm input’s local cost, as well as provide them additional revenue from said agribusiness enterprise. “The idea is to allow capable FCAs to import their fertilizer requirements, and sell the surplus to fellow farmers in their respective areas,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“This is a win-win proposition for farmers because they could negotiate for lower-priced fertilizers, and engage in trading that could give their respective FCAs additional source of revenue,” the DA chief added. For his part, Director Wilfredo Roldan of the DA’s Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) said although fertilizer importation was liberalized in 1986 and maintained VAT exemption to cushion the price increase, very few FCAs have availed of said privilege.
Secretary Dar said that, in fact, FCAs are granted tax-free importation of farm inputs, including fertilizers, under Section 108 to 110 of the Republic Act 8435 or the Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997. “This time, however, we hope big FCAs and farmers’ federations would consider importing fertilizers directly for their benefit,” he added.
“By doing so, the FCAs would get first-hand experience in fertilizer importation and trading, and learn the logistical requirements. The DA through the FPA will assist interested FCAs engage in this agribusiness venture — from registration, warehousing, to logistics and marketing,” Secretary Dar said.
Roldan said that starting October this year, the Philippines can source urea fertilizers from Brunei Darussalam, and with its proximity to the country, importers could avail of reasonable prices for said major fertilizer grade.
For more information:
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Philippines