President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of DA Facebook)

MANILA – The government is looking for “non-traditional” sources of fertilizer to help ensure that affordable supplies are available, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. bared on Sunday.

Marcos, who also heads the Department of Agriculture (DA), said pursuing government-to-government (G2G) talks to buy cheaper fertilizers may help address surging prices.

Tayo naghahanap ng tinatawag na (We are looking for) non-traditional [sources of fertilizer]. ‘Yung iba’t-ibang bansa na hindi naman natin ini-importan noon ay nilalapitan na ngayon natin at baka sakali makabili tayo ng fertilizer na mas mura (We are now approaching different countries that we did not import from before because maybe we can buy fertilizer that is cheaper),” he said in his weekly vlog.

Aside from G2G talks, there will be a distribution of discount vouchers which can be exchanged for fertilizer from accredited merchants.

Nagtutulungan ang private sector, nagtutulungan ang gobyerno para naman mas makamura ang mga farmer at kahit papaano, mayroong kinikita (The private sector and government are working together so that it would be cheaper for farmers and they would somehow be earning),” he added.

Malacañang earlier said Marcos was considering negotiating with China, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Russia for the procurement of cheaper fertilizers.

Last week, Marcos directed the Department of Trade and Industry to provide cheaper fertilizers for farmers.

The sharp increase in fertilizer prices was exacerbated by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which began in February.

Russia is the largest global exporter of fertilizer.

The cost of urea, the most commonly used fertilizer, has increased to PHP2,781 for every 50 kilograms, higher than PHP1,321 a year ago, according to the DA's Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority. (PNA)