Following the directives of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Department of Agriculture (DA) is gearing up for the efficient distribution of additional fertilizer assistance that will support rice farmers nationwide.
Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban convened the Regional Executive Directors and Rice Program coordinators of the DA-Regional Field Offices (RFOs) on November 10, 2022 to discuss the program updates, guidelines, concerns, and ways forward.
This is in line with the recent meeting of President Marcos with the top officials of DA, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) regarding the country’s fertilizer importation requirements to boost local production.
The PITC was tapped to import the required volume of fertilizer at a lower cost through government-to-government arrangement. With a P4.1 billion fund, the DA will be able to buy about 2.277 million bags of urea to be given in-kind to farmers.
The DA targets to start the distribution of fertilizer assistance for the Dry Season 2022–2023 by December 2022 after the ongoing distribution of fertilizer discount vouchers funded through FY 2021 and FY 2022 GAA is completed.
Undersecretary Panganiban directed the RFOs to ensure accurate, efficient, and immediate delivery of the fertilizers that will be dropped off at strategic locations nationwide in coordination with the PITC and concerned local government units.
President Marcos, who also serves as the DA Secretary, is set to sign next week a memorandum of agreement between PITC and DA as a basic requirement for the fertilizer importation plan. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID/photo courtesy of DA-Caraga)