Duterte promises P30B fertilizers support program for farmers
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to provide funds estimated to be about P30 billion for a National Fertilizer Support Program to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to enable farmers to increase their crop production.
Last week, Duterte led the turnover of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to over 1,600 farmers in Sagay, Negros Occidental. During the ceremony, Duterte instructed DA to provide farmers with seeds and fertilizers because these are what they have been asking for.
A DA study shows that one of the reasons for the low productivity of rice and corn farmers is the low fertilization rate of their farms because of the high price of fertilizers.
While most farms would require between 6 to 8 bags of fertilizer to achieve maximum productivity, many farmers only apply 2 to 4 bags.
Fertilisers bought from private traders are also expensive and those acquired through loans payable after harvest carry very stiff interest rates.
“After his speech, I informed President Duterte that there is already an existing seed distribution program, especially for rice, which will be beefed up with the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) this year,” Piñol said.
“When I informed him that the program would involve around P30-B which could be rolled over every year, President Duterte said he will instruct Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez to provide the funds,” he added.