AS THE PRICE of chemical fertilizers continue to spike, vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is pushing for a healthier alternative of hybrid use of chemical and organic fertilizers.
“Baligtarin natin ang problema at gawing oportunidad. Sa kaso ng pagtaas ng presyo ng abono, gamitin natin itong oportunidad para palaguin ang paggamit ng organic fertilizer at pagtangkilik na rin sa organic farming,” the senator said.
Pangilinan recognizes that a complete shift to organic is not simple, as yields will suffer.
“Doon sa pwedeng mag-shift sa organic, mag-shift habang nagpupursigi tayong mag-produce ng sarili nating chemical fertilizers. This is the more comprehensive approach,” he added.
Pangilinan, who has an organic vegetable farm in Cavite, produces his own organic fertilizer for his farm and sells the excess.
He also makes his own organic pesticide, which is composed of neem leaves, siling labuyo, turmeric, coconut vinegar, and molasses.
Pangilinan said that together with other sustainable environment-friendly farming practices, the use of organic fertilizer replenishes the soil’s nutrients depleted during harvest time.
“Papalakasin nito ang halaman. Pag lumakas ang tanim, mas pest-resistant at disease-resistant,” he said.
“Ang halaman, parang tao, pag na-stress, hindi yayabong, hindi lalaki, pero pag tender loving care ang binigay, maganda ang magiging resulta,” he added.
In February, the Department of Agriculture said it has only around 200 metric tons (MT) of fertilizer, which is far from the 600,000 MT that the country needs for the first quarter’s planting season.
Dar attributed the continuous price hike of fertilizer to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
According to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, retail price of prilled urea fertilizer averaged at P2,691.16 per 50-kilo bag from March 21 to March 25, or double last year’s retail price.
On the other hand, the average price of granular urea more than doubled from P1,051.42 to P2,650.85 per 50-kilo bag year-on-year; similarly the price of ammosul soared from P611.21 a year ago to P1,407.39 per 50-kilo bag now.