Philippine government asked to temper rising prices of fertilizer

Senators are urging the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines (DA) to implement measures to address the rising prices of fertilizers and to boost local production.

During the Senate budget deliberations yesterday, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri told the DA to come up with an action plan on addressing the surging fertilizer prices which have significantly affected farmers.

Fertilizer prices in the international market have been rising since May mainly due to larger demand from countries as well as higher freight costs. 

When asked what the DA has been doing to address the rising prices, Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said they have been distributing fertilizer vouchers under its National Rice Program.

Sen. Cynthia Villar suggested that the DA also encourage the local production of fertilizer, particularly organic, to make prices more affordable to farmers. She said the DA should allocate P1 billion out of the P4 billion annual budget for the distribution of composting machines to allow farmers to produce their own fertilizers

Zubiri acknowledged that there are private sector firms producing organic fertilizers in the country. However, he lamented that the government has no similar efforts. “We have so many materials for organic fertilizers, but I don’t see any programs,” Zubiri said.

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