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Palace announces biofertilizer program to cut import reliance

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. will seek to promote the greater use of biofertilizer to reduce dependence on imported petroleum-based fertilizer, the Palace said in a statement.

“We are going to introduce biofertilizer to our farmers and teach them how to use it,” Mr. Marcos was quoted as saying by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) after he met with officials from the Department of Agriculture (DA), which the President concurrently heads.

“I hope this will ease our concerns when it comes to the supply of fertilizer,” he said. “And we can fully control the availability of biofertilizer.”

Mr. Marcos said the shift will not immediately mean farmers would stop using non-organic fertilizers such as urea.

“There will still be a mix,” he said. “But we will reduce our dependence on imports.”

The DA has conducted biofertilizer trials and concluded that can it be produced domestically, according to the PCO.

“According to the chief executive, there were promising results from early tests although biofertilizer use entails some cost, but it could be brought down especially if it is going to be produced locally,” it said.

During his state visit to China in January, Mr. Marcos signed deals with Chinese producers to sell fertilizer at favorable prices, the Palace said.

It said two Chinese fertilizer manufacturing companies signed a cooperation agreement with the Philippine International Trading Corp., “which could ensure a sustainable supply of much-needed fertilizer at reasonable prices.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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