Former Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday said the country should develop alternative and indigenous sources of fertilizers to help farmers maintain or increase their incomes and prevent sudden hikes in food prices.
Binay, who is running for senator in the May elections under United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), issued the statement from Bataan, where he is on the second leg of his Luzon sortie.
“The planting season is near again. We must have an alternative source of fertilizer, if not, this will affect the quantity to be planted and the price of the food,” he said.
“The government must be the one to take the initiative to study this up to the technology transfer, with the help of experts from agricultural colleges,” he added.
According to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), as of the last week of January 2022, the average retail price of a 50-kilo bag of prilled and granular urea reached P2,517.74 and P2,522.95, respectively.
This is higher than the average retail price of P1,046 and P993.31 in the same period last year.
“Developing our own fertilizer industry will be a big help for us to have a stable supply so as not to surprise our farmers to sudden price increases around the world,” said Binay.
Binay said while imports can temporarily stabilize supply, developing domestic sources of fertilizers would have long-term effects on our agriculture sector.
“According to the Department of Agriculture, we don’t have much volume of importation that’s why it is important for us to have our own supply,” said Binay.