Farmers’ group seeks probe of steady rise in fertilizer prices | Inquirer Business
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Farmers’ group seeks probe of steady rise in fertilizer prices

DA inclined to turn to importation
By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 04:08 AM August 11, 2021
The country's premier think tank has thumbed down the proposal for local government units (LGUs) to allocate 10 percent of their internal revenue allotment (IRA) to agriculture once the Garcia-Mandanas ruling is implemented next year. The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said the proposal, filed under Senate Bill 1138, may reduce the efficiency of LGUs that are not considered agricultural, adding that it would limit LGUs' spending on industries that they would like to prioritize.

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Progressive farmers’ group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) urged lawmakers to probe the rising prices of fertilizers just as Agriculture Secretary William Dar recently announced plans to import this farm input.

In a statement, KMP noted that fertilizer prices had increased steadily since May this year, effectively trimming farmers’ profits as inputs become more expensive while palay prices did not move.

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As of the last week of July, data from the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) showed that prilled and granular urea—the most commonly used fertilizer among farmers —were sold at an average of P1,416 and P1,393 per 50-kilogram bag, respectivley.

The same amount of this fertilizer was sold at an average of P1,250 and P1,240 last month, and at P1,039 and P991 in the same period last year.

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Quoting Farmers from Nueva Ecija, KMP said in a statement that retail prices of Triple 14, the complete fertilizer with equal percentages of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, increased by P200 to P250 per bag to P1,500. The same product’s prices in Tarlac, meanwhile, went up by as much as P400 per bag.

“While the FPA gave an assurance that the country has sufficient inventory of fertilizer that can last until the next cropping season or almost 300,000 metric tons as of June 21, 2021, there is a need to probe why the retail prices of fertilizers are constantly increasing,” the group said.

Globally, fertilizer prices are going up as countries continue to turn to protectionist policies by stockpiling resources and expanding their own agricultural production.

Dar said the Department of Agriculture (DA) was in touch with international suppliers so the government would be able to import fertilizers at lower costs.

KMP, in turn, slammed the agency for its default solution to import to address the rising prices of agricultural commodities and farm inputs. INQ

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