DA seeks P12B in additional budget for 2022
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is seeking a higher budget for next year to address the food and agriculture challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Agriculture Secretary William Dar cited the urgent need to raise the department’s 2022 budget by P12 billion to sustain the Philippines’ food production and meet its food security needs.
In the proposed 2022 national budget, only P95 billion was earmarked for the department.
Dar said the DA intended to use the additional funds for fertilizer subsidy (P8.9 billion), corn program (P2 billion) and urban agriculture (P1.1 billion).
“We are entering a ‘New World’—the global scale of the ‘new normal’ as an offshoot of the COVID-19 pandemic—wherein every country in the world is coping with huge challenges,” Dar said.
“These include the lingering and mutating COVID-19 pandemic, increasing prices of petrol, fertilizers and feeds, climate change, population dynamics, urbanization (farm areas) and aging farmers, and entry of transboundary animal and plant diseases,” he added.
Prices of inorganic fertilizers have been at “alarming” levels due to the declining global supply. According to Dar, big countries and producers have been stocking up and cornering fertilizer supplies to ensure that their local requirements for crop production and food security are met.
“Other threats such as rising oil prices, increasing prices of raw materials for feeds, and increasing cost of transport due to backlog in logistics transport service are adding to the lingering effect of the pandemic, which is still affecting the global supply chain,” he added.
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