Outgoing DA chief: Marcos must realign funds for fertilizer subsidy amid food crisis

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 24) – The incoming Marcos administration must realign government funds to give fertilizer subsidy to farmers amid the food crisis in the country.

This is the suggestion of outgoing Agriculture Secretary William Dar to President-elect Bongbong Marcos in a bid to cushion the effects of the food crisis.

“This is now wet season planting starting this June and much more July. So he has to use his presidential power to realign government funds so that fertilizer subsidy can be given,” Dar told CNN Philippines’ The Final Word on Friday.

Marcos announced earlier this week that he will temporarily take on the role of Agriculture secretary when he assumes the presidency on June 30. 

Dar estimated that the Marcos government needs around P15 million to subsidize the fertilizer requirements of rice farmers.

The outgoing Agriculture chief elaborated that the global disruption of the food chain has been attributed to low usage of fertilizers due to the Russia-Ukraine war. The two countries combined carry a huge chunk of the world’s fertilizer supply.

“In effect, it has given us a reduction of about 6.8% palay yield reduction this first semester. Now if that continues like this wet season planting, if (the) government does not give substantial subsidy— that's one that (will be) badly affected,” said Dar.

The Agriculture secretary previously said the government is ready to face the “looming” food crisis amid the turnover of a new administration on June 30.