Farmers seek fertilizer subsidy due to low prices of palay
DAGUPAN CITY – Still reeling from the low prices of palay or unhusked rice and increasing prices of fertilizers, farmers are asking the national government to provide subsidies to farmers to cover the cost of fertilizer.
Rosendo So, chair of the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), an umbrella organization of agriculture-based groups, on Monday (Oct. 25), said the successive increases in world market prices led to the increase in the local price of fertilizers, a by-product of oil.
“We are asking the government to subsidize fertilizer inputs for farmers using the unspent Bayanihan Funds of proceeds from the Rice Tariffication Law,” So said in a phone interview.
The world market price of urea fertilizer has almost tripled from October 2020 to October 2021.
So said urea fertilizer in October 2020 was priced at $270 (P13,681) per metric ton. In August this year, urea was priced at $440 (22,295) per metric ton and leaped to $800 (40,537) per metric ton this month.
Urea was sold to farmers at P850 per bag in October 2020 but is now selling between P1,500 and P1,800 per bag.
According to So, 10 bags of fertilizers are needed for every hectare planted to palay.
So said the price of rice in the market should be lowered, and regular-milled local rice should be sold at P32 per kilo and not P38 per kilo. Well-milled local rice should be sold at P38 per kilo and not P40 per kilo, he said.
So said local palay farmers are losing out on cheap imported rice and that traders buy palay at prices lower than production cost.
“With the increased price of urea, the production cost of palay surged from P15.50 per kilo to P18 per kilo. But traders are buying palay in Rosales, Pangasinan at P11.50 per kilo,” So said. INQ
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