Farmers get orders of Bio-N as officials push for wide
use to cope with high cost of chemical fertilizers
by Rizalie A. Calibo
Barely a week after the turn-over of a Bio-N mixing plant in Lazi, Siquijor, Tagmanocan Farmers Association is now receiving more orders from the local government units of the province and from Dumaguete, said the couple farmer-scientists and members of the Tagmanocan farmer’s association, Fedelita and Dominador Dagumo in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) today. The couple said they are very glad the association is already getting orders this early and believe that more will come with the strong support from the local officials. The Tagmanocan FA is given authority to manage and is urged to engage in commercial production to supply the entire province.
During its turn-over and launching ceremony last week, Siquijor Provincial Governor Orlando “Shane” Fua Jr. is heard pushing for use of Bio-N in place of massive chemical farming that has negative impact not only on the poor farmer’s pocket but on human health and environment. He said part of the government’s agricultural revolution today is the introduction of organic farming, which brought the Bio-N facility to the province.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also made a strong pitch today for organic fertilizers to help the country’s farmers cope with the high cost of chemical fertilizers particularly urea, whose price had skyrocketed by 200 percent in the last two years.
“Urea is oil-based and we know the price of oil today. So ang gagawin natin ngayon massive investment in organic fertilizer,” the President said.
The Chief Executive said farmers should be encouraged to replicate the practice of other farmers who use chicken dung as fertilizer. Chicken dung has been found to be as effective as urea, she said.
Gov. Fua’s call is also supported by his father Congressman Orlando B. Fua who pledged P1 million to purchase the first three months production of Bio-N in Siquijor and give them to the local farmers for free so that they can attest to the efficacy of the fertilizer. A 200 gram packet of BIO – N is sold at P60.
The provincial leaders also thanked the President for providing farmers in their areas with agricultural facilities.
The President assured that the national government will provide provinces with certified seeds and organic fertilizers so that farmers can plant right after this harvest season.
In the face of the global food situation, the President earlier ordered a stepped up food production under a six-assistance program to make food abundant, accessible and affordable.
The program is called FIELDS -- for Fertilizer, Irrigation, Infrastructure, Extension and Education, Loans, Dryers and other post-harvest and post-production facilities, and S for seeds and other genetic materials.
The President has allocated P500 million from the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) for fertilizer support and production, especially organic fertilizers.
The President said billions more would be spent on infrastructure such as ports, airports, farm-to-market roads and the rehabilitation and establishment of new irrigation systems.
Meanwhile, the Philippines on Sunday (April 21) called for international action to address food security concerns and other pressing global issues that affect trade and development, including migration and climate change.
Speaking for the Asian Group at the 12th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Accra, Ghana, Philippine Ambassador Erlinda F. Basilio underscored the urgency of international cooperation in coming to grips with the tightening food supply worldwide.
Basilio, who heads the Philippine delegation to the UNCTAD, echoed the call of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the international community to adopt a concerted strategy to tackle the global issues of food security, climate change and migration. (RACalibo/PIA)
To provide more funds for training of farmers and fisherfolk on new and emerging technology, "we will allocate P2billion in research and development, P1 billion in capability building, P1 billion in trainers and technicians and P1 billion in agricultural and fisheries education system, she said.