BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Former Sugar Regulatory Administration board member Dino Yulo laments that there has been no concrete action from the Departments of Agriculture, as well as Trade and Industry, on the requests of farmers for them to act on the skyrocketing prices of fertilizers.
Yulo said that the unabated increase in fertilizer cost despite their call for a freeze price increase is causing trouble for the sugar industry now that the milling season is already peaking and sugar planting has commenced in many areas.
He noted that prices of fertilizers have more than doubled compared to last year, with Urea, the fertilizer grade most heavily used by farmers, costing P2,300 to P2,400 per 50-kg bag compared to P900 before.
“We have been feeling the effects since the last planting season and in fact, we called out several months ago for national intervention, particularly to the DA and DTI, yet there has been no concrete action,” Yulo said.
“Coupled with that is also the petroleum price hike that has almost doubled as well, with diesel fuel breaching the P50 per liter mark,” he said, adding that these price hike in two major farm inputs will definitely have a “severe impact” in the sugar industry.
With Typhoon Odette affecting most of southern Negros that even led to the temporary stoppage of a sugar mill, “our planters in the south may not be able to survive this crisis if DTI will not step in and ensure that fertilizers costs are kept at bay,” Yulo further said.
Since September there have been appeal for fertilizer subsidies and setting a price cap on this particularly commodity, yet our appeal has not been acted upon, he added.*