SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – The DA National Rice Program has increased the amount of fertilizer subsidy to rice farmers to P6,600 per hectare in the Dry Season Cropping (September 16, 2022- March 15, 2023).

Qualified beneficiaries are those rice farmers registered in the Registry System for basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and are seed beneficiaries distributed by DA and PhilRice, validated farmers who planted using their own or self-purchased seeds and those farmers who signified their intention to plant for the covered cropping season. This one-time use fertilizer vouchers shall be used by the farmer-beneficiaries to claim urea fertilizers at their preferred DA-accredited dealers, distributors, and outlets. The voucher value for assistance will be computed based on the actual area planted by the farmer and should not exceed the area registered in the RSBSA. However, to serve more farmers, an eligible farmer-beneficiary can receive a maximum voucher value of Php13,200.00, equivalent to two (2) hectares.

During the Wet Season Cropping (March 16 – September 15, 2022), the value of fertilizer discount voucher provided to farmers is Php 1,131.00 per hectare for those who planted inbred rice, while Php 2,262.00 per hectare for those who planted hybrid rice. The increase in the fertilizer subsidy is DA’s immediate support to rice farmers amidst the hike in fertilizer prices due to larger demand from other countries as well as higher freight cost.

DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla said that for the Wet Season Cropping (March 16-September 15, 2022), DA Bicol Rice program generated 66,549 fertilizer discount vouchers amounting to Php105.3 million covering 63,812 hectares. Out of the generated voucher, 66,301 were claimed by 55,573 farmers from Cam. Norte, Cam. Sur, and Catanduanes comprising 99.64% of the target for the Wet Season 2022.

For Dry Season Cropping (September 16, 2022-March 15, 2023), additional fund of Php 376M was allocated for Bicol Region to cover 56,998 hectares of rice areas in Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon. This is in addition to the funds allocated under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) which was allocated to the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes. As of this writing, a total of 99,774 fertilizer vouchers have been generated wherein 63% have already been claimed by 50,547 rice farmers from all over Bicol amounting to Php 301.3 million covering 45,650 hectares. (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5)