The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women, rice watch group Bantay Bigas, and Anakpawis Party-list pressed the government to immediately act on the soaring prices of Urea fertilizer from an estimate of P900 – 950 per bag in 2021 to P2,240 – 2,920 in February 2022. An estimate of P1,340 – 1,970 per bag was added in an average of 6- 8 bags per hectare used by rice farmers.
“Rice farmers decry the exorbitant price hike of fertilizers. It is burdensome for them who have almost no income due to the very high cost of farming, depressed farm gate palay price for only P12 – P17.20 per kilo and lack of support from the government,” Cathy Estavillo, Secretary-General of Amihan and Anakpawis Party-list said.
Amihan and Anakpawis Party-list reached out to its chapters to compile the prevailing prices of Urea fertilizers in various provinces and urged the government to act on this matter. This February 2022, the prices were: P2,240 – 2,450 in Albay, Nueva Ecija, and Sultan Kudarat; P2,500 – P2,600 in Tarlac, Cagayan, Negros Occidental, Pampanga, & Misamis Oriental; P2,700 – 2,900 in Pangasinan, Palawan, Catanduanes, Capiz and P3,500 in Masbate.
Particular in Pampanga, the rice farmers said that last August 2021, they only bought P920 per bag of fertilizer and increased in November by P1,600. Then, last planting season, it became P2,600 per bag.
Estavillo said that, ” For those running for gov’t offices, you must put primacy to the demand of the Filipino farmers such as production support and subsidy. They are our food security frontliners and their ill state is detrimental to the whole population. The prevailing prices for fertilizers and other farm inputs should be affordable and not be controlled or imposed by private traders.”
“Groups reiterated its calls for the provision of P15,000 agricultural production subsidy for rice farmers and P10,000 social amelioration for poor families,” Estavillo ended. ###