‘Suggested retail price for fertilizers to tame food prices’


SEN.  Francis N. Pangilinan on Wednesday backed the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) plan to adopt the suggested retail price (SRP) scheme for fertilizers to mitigate the impact of skyrocketing food prices in the world market.

A former Food Security Secretary in a previous administration, the opposition lawmaker affirmed that the imposition of SRP is on option to be seriously considered “to protect the supply chain of agricultural products from farm to table.”

Apart from backing an increase in farmers’ fertilizer subsidy, the senator confirms support for the SRP, saying it is meant to “balance the needs of farmers and the interests of consumers,” even as he reminded that “nobody sells at a loss.”

In a statement Wednesday, Pangilinan reported that DA officials, as well as the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), and Fertilizer Industry Association of the Philippines are “considering the imposition of SRP as a ‘preemptive measure’ together with tapping alternative sources of fertilizers, such as Iran and Brunei.”

The senator affirmed that the lower cost of inputs like fertilizer will bring down the cost of food production.

“Kung hindi kakayaning bumili ng mga magsasaka ng fertilizers para sa pananim, bababa ang ani; kapag bumaba ang ani, tataas ang presyo ng pagkain.”

Pangilinan added: “Ang pinakamalaking konsiderasyon ay ang stability ng food supply para sa lahat ng pamilyang Pilipino sa gitna ng pandemya. Ayaw nating lalong tumindi ang malnutrisyon, gutom, at food insecurity ng bawat Pilipino ngayon.”

Moreover, he noted that DA officials are also considering the use of local, indigenous, and bio-fertilizers to balance the country’s fertilization strategy, quoting a DA official saying: “SRPs will help pull down production cost of farmers as it will cap prices of agricultural inputs while maintaining the production yield high.”

The senator noted that some 2.3 million metric tons (MMT) of the 2.6 MMT annual national fertilizer requirements of the Philippines are imported, adding that China supplies about 18 to 20 percent of the country’s fertilizer needs.

This, as he also recalled that fertilizer prices have risen to more than P1,700 per bag last November, compared with last year’s P1,000 per bag’s average price.

Citing additional figures obtained by his office, Pangilinan recalled that as of November 26, prilled (dried globule) urea has the highest price at P2,154.48 per bag; di-ammonium phosphate, P2,149.59; granular urea, P2,119.77; potassium chloride, P1,621.49; complete fertilizer mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, P1,581.78; ammophos, P1,459.14; and ammosul, P1,111.12.

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