FERTILIZER SUBSIDY. A corn farmer in Leyte receives a fertilizer discount voucher in this Sept. 19, 2022 photo. At least 2,286 corn and cassava farmers in Leyte have received fertilizer discounts from the Department of Agriculture to increase their yield. (Photo courtesy of Department of Agriculture Region 8)

TACLOBAN CITY – At least 2,286 corn and cassava farmers in Leyte have received fertilizer discounts from the Department of Agriculture (DA) to increase their yield.

The beneficiaries were farmers from the towns of Abuyog, Dulag, Inopacan, Matalom, Tabango, San Isidro, Capoocan, Kananga, Bato, Villaba, Baybay City, and Ormoc City in Leyte province, the DA regional office here reported on Wednesday.

Of the 2,286 farmers, 1,180 received the subsidy last August and 1,186 got the assistance this month, DA Eastern Visayas Regional Executive Director Angel Enriquez said in a statement for the 2022 and 2023 cropping seasons, they introduced the corn program fertilizer discount voucher scheme where corn and cassava farmers would claim fertilizers from accredited merchants.

Each discount voucher will have a value of PHP2,000 and can be claimed at any accredited fertilizer retailer.

Farmer-beneficiaries have the option to get organic, Bio-N, and foliar fertilizers, or inorganic fertilizer grades such as complete, urea, ammonium phosphate, and muriate of potash to meet the recommended fertilization rate.

“The project aimed to ensure the timely provision of fertilizers to farmer-beneficiaries and increase the current yield level of corn and cassava in the country. It will cover the two identified cropping seasons, particularly on the fertilizer distribution in priority areas identified by the National Corn Program,” Enriquez said.

The DA identified the beneficiaries using National Seed Industry Council data and members of corn or cassava clusters.

Only farmers registered under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture are qualified to receive the support whose names appeared on the prospective master list of beneficiaries.

The DA provided the subsidy in response to rising fertilizer costs.

Prices in the international market have been increasing since last year mainly due to larger demand from countries, as well as higher freight costs.

The latest data from the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority showed that the average retail price of prilled urea registered at PHP3,200 per 50-kilogram bag as of June 2022. (PNA)