LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — In efforts to protect the farming industry and livelihood of farmers in the province, the provincial board is mulling the passage of a measure regulating the selling of fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and other agricultural chemicals through the acquisition of permit to sell from the province.
Board Member Juan Nazarro Jr. presented the proposed ordinance entitled “An Ordinance requiring manufacturer/distributor/wholesaler/dealer of fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and other agricultural chemicals to obtain provincial permit before selling their province in the province of Benguet,” in a meeting of the Benguet Vegetable Council held last week.
As premised in the measure, there is proliferation of unlicensed and fake products of such farm inputs being sold directly to the farmers and have not undergone appropriate procedures prior to disposal for distribution. Likewise, there were some seeds being sold to farmers which were not viable resulting to losses.
Such farm inputs should still be duly registered with the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), an agency under the Department of Agriculture (DA) created under Presidential Decree 1144 responsible for assuring adequate supplies of fertilizer and pesticide at reasonable prices; rationalizing the manufacture and marketing of fertilizer; protecting the public from the risks inherent in the use of pesticides; and educating the agricultural sector in the use of these inputs.
For seeds, former Department of Agriculture Regional Director Dr. Elizabeth Verzola, now a consultant of the agency said seeds are certified and approved for release by the National Seed Board.
Seeds should be viable and adaptable to the environment according to Verzola saying there may be some seeds which are being sold that may not be suitable to the climatic conditions of the area.
Aside from seeds, it was also suggested that the measure includes cuttings and corms which are also utilized as planting materials, to pass through quarantine measures.
Aside from the analysis being undertaken by concerned agencies, Nazarro requested the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist to compute for the funds to be used in evaluating such farm inputs and seeds circulating in the province. This will be the basis in the allocation of funds for the proposed measure, he said. # S.C. Aro/PIA-Benguet