The Department of Agriculture – Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (DA-FPA) highlighted the need for an effective and efficient regulation of agricultural chemicals for food security and environmental protection amidst global crises during the celebration of their 46th founding anniversary on May 30, 2023.
Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, together with Assistant Secretary Rex C. Estoperez and DA-FPA officials, led the culminating activity attended by representatives from the DA-FPA regional offices and key players in the fertilizer and pesticides industries.
In his keynote message, Usec. Panganiban emphasized the significance of the regulatory agency in achieving the goals of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., as well as providing the highest level of food security for all Filipino consumers.
“The Marcos Administration came to office last year with the conviction that every Filipino is born with the inherent right to adequate food. The President is committed to guaranteeing every Filipino that right,” Sr. Usec. Panganiban said.
He said that even before the President took office, he organized a group of economists to study the issues affecting the country’s food security, particularly those related to increasing the country’s rice harvest.
According to the Sr. Usec. DA-FPA should work with DA and its attached agencies in providing relief to farmers who are confronted with high production costs. He added that the Department’s collective effort last year led to the 19.76 million metric ton-palay production record, which exceeded the yield between 2000 and 2020 year-on-year.
“The DA distributed 7.7 million kilograms of fertilizer last year, along with 2,500 gallons of pesticides and a billion pesos in fertilizer discount vouchers,” Panganiban said.
He said this intervention provides essential farm inputs for the enterprises of 1.8 million farmers and 14,000 farmers’ cooperatives.
He also congratulated the men and women of the DA-FPA for improving the quality of life of Filipinos through increased farm incomes, productivity and food production using safe and appropriate fertilizer and pesticide inputs for the past 46 years.
According to DA-FPA, the agency, along with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM), has organized 379 training sessions on balanced fertilization all over the country.
Usec. Panganiban also urged the DA-FPA to continue enhancing their services and make necessary changes for the benefit of Filipino farmers.
“You must keep up with your mandate to help the agriculture sector to obtain adequate supplies of fertilizers, pesticides, and other inputs; enforce the highest quality control standards for both fertilizer and pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals; provide farmers with the technical capacity and the capital they need to produce their own organic fertilizer through the implementation of the Fortified Organic Fertilizer Development Program; and • educate both the industry and the country’s farmers on the safe and judicious use of farm input,” he said. By Kristel Joyce Merle