BILATERAL AGREEMENT. The Philippines, represented by Agriculture Secretary William Dar, renews bilateral partnership with India, represented by India's Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi on Friday (April 22, 2022). The two parties agreed to renew cooperation to further boost food production. (Photo Courtesy: Secretary William Dar)

MANILA – The Philippines must look for other sources of agricultural products as the conflict between major producers Ukraine and Russia persists and continues to shake up the two countries' exports, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Monday.

DA Undersecretary Fermin Adriano said there is an increasing demand for agricultural products across the globe, particularly for wheat, as 30 percent of the country's supply that is sourced from Ukraine and Russia remains in a problematic situation.

Wheat, Adriano said, is a vital input product for animal feeds, especially for swine and chicken production. Hence, an urgent need to diversify sources for agricultural input products.

Kung mataas ‘yung cost of production nung animal feed, mataas po ang cost of production, kaya ‘pag tiningnan mo ‘yan sa merkado, tumataas ‘yung mga chicken prices natin po ngayon, mataas na rin ang farmgate price, kasi mataas po ‘yung input nila na mais at trigo (If the cost of production of animal feed is high, the cost of production is high [as well], that's why if you look in the market, chicken prices are increasing, even the farmgate price is increasing, because the input [price] is also high, including the corn and wheat),” he said.

Adriano underscored the significance of DA Secretary William Dar's bilateral agreement with India, which is considered one of the major producers of rice, wheat, and biofertilizers, among others.

"Kasi kapag tiningnan mo po iyong India, siya po iyong number three sa producers ng rice sa buong daigdig. At isang major player din po siya sa pag-produce ng trigo o wheat... Kaya iyong pagbisita ni Secretary ay nakatuon para tayo ay magkaroon ng access... at ngayon, tight nga iyong wheat, kinakailangan nating mag-diversify ng source, iyong India ang isa (If you look at India, it is the third major producer of rice in the world. It is also a major player in rice production. That's why Secretary [Dar's] visit is focused on securing access, and now, the wheat [supply] is tight, we need to diversify our source, India is one)," he said. (PNA)