Farmers to receive biofertilizer vouchers in 2024 - DA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — The government will provide farmers with "vouchers" that will allow them to choose their preferred biofertilizers next year.

"Ipapalit yung voucher kung ano ang magandang biofertilizer na nakita nila at 'yun ang kanilang gagamitin," Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian said in a public briefing.

[Translation: They can exchange the vouchers for their preferred biofertilizers and that's what they'll use.]

The undersecretary said that the initiative will also serve as an assurance that the biofertizer program will be corruption free.

The DA has proposed a ₱1.9-billion budget for the program in 2024. It aims to boost rice production by combining the use of organic fertilizers, biofertilizers and inorganic fertilizers (urea), and cut farmers' cost of production.

"Nakita natin na noong pumalo ng mataas ang presyo ng inorganic fertilizer, bumagsak din ang paggamit ng mga magsasaka sa fertilizer at bumagsak din ang production ng palay," the DA official said.

[Translation: We've seen that when prices of inorganic fertilizers soar, the use of fertilizers by farmers and rice production also fell.]

READ: DA eyes ₱1.9-B budget for biofertilizers in 2024

Sebastian maintained that the procurement process for biofertilizers will be "fair and transparent."