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PIA Press Release

DA distributes fertilizers to boost rice supply

Siquijor (9 July) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) last week has started distributing fertilizer discount coupons to help Siquijor rice farmers achieve higher rice yields.

The move was in response to President Arroyo's released order to the department to help farmers restore their farmlands through the use of good quality rice seeds and monetization for fertilizers through the internal revenue allotment from 2002-2004 arrears of local government units.

"Fertilizers are expensive so we have to subsidize," the President said.

A total of 2.58 million hectares nationwide would be covered in this program.

Bernadith S. Bunado, Provincial Agricultural Technological Coordinating Officer of the Department of Agriculture here said that this is a very timely intervention from the government considering that the high prices of tertilizers swiftly have shot up to as high as P2,000 per bag in recent months.

The distribution of coupon depends upon the total area of farm. In Lazi there are 300 coupons, Maria - 200 coupons, Enrique Villanueva - 10 coupons, San Juan - 36 coupons, Larena - 130 coupons, and Siquijor 102 coupons.

Of the Php 2,000 per sack of fertilizer in the market, the farmer will only pay Php 500 per sack because the Php 500 is sponsored by the national government and Php 1,000 by the provincial government of Siquijor.

Farmers can buy fertilizers from accredited traders in the province who are constantly monitored by the DA personnel.

Wet cropping season for rice farmers had started last May until October, this year.

Earlier President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on the United States, "as the breadbasket of the world," to help ensure the flow of vital humanitarian suppliers to the countries reeling from the blow of soaring oil and food prices.

In her address before the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce at Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, the President said the surging prices of oil and food are a global challenge that can be overcome only through the cooperation of all nations.

She urged the US to invest in research that could lead to the solution of the skyrocketing oil and food prices, and to provide urgently needed humanitarian supplies to the truly needy. (RA) [top]

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