Marcos open to pursuing gov't-to-gov't talks for fertilizer supply amid price woes

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2022 01:12 PM

Ilocos countryside during the campaign sortie of Presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Vice Presidential bet Sara Duterte in the Ilocos region, the home province of the Marcoses, on February 16, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Ilocos countryside during the campaign sortie of Presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Vice Presidential bet Sara Duterte in the Ilocos region, the home province of the Marcoses, on February 16, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is open to pursuing government-to-government talks to ensure the country's fertilizer supply and address increasing prices. 

In a statement following his meeting with agriculture officials Monday, Marcos, who temporarily heads the Department of Agriculture (DA), said he could personally write to the governments of China, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Russia regarding the matter.

"I'm thinking would it be useful for us if sulatan ko silang lahat (if I write to them all)… and I'll say that we are in the market to buy this volume of fertilizer," the President said.

“Gusto tayong tulungan, gusto tayong lapitan, eh ‘di take advantage naman tayo, ‘di ba. Sige bigyan niyo kami ng fertilizer na medyo maganda-ganda ang presyo. That’s the whole point of G2G,” he added. 

(They want to help us and they want to approach us. We should take advantage of it. Go, give us fertilizers with a good price.)

The DA in late March said it had allotted some P4 billion worth of fertilizer subsidy for farmers amid its soaring prices compounded by the rising fuel cost. 

Western sanctions on Russia, a major exporter of potash, ammonia, urea and other soil nutrients, have disrupted shipments of those key inputs around the globe. Fertilizer is key to keeping corn, soy, rice and wheat yields high.

Former Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier cited the importance of using both local and imported fertilizers and managing them for farmers amid the fertilizer shortage. To conserve organic and inorganic fertilizers, DA already implemented the large-scale use of biostimulants to boost crop quality.

Dar and other agriculture groups had earlier warned of a looming food crisis globally. 

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