Most farmlands in the country have low soil fertility because of “unsustainable practices,” a Department of Agriculture official revealed over the weekend.
The degree of soil fertility in the country continue to decrease over the years, Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soil and Water Management (DA-BSWM) Chief Agriculturist Karen Bautista said.
“Ten years ago, our lands were at…moderate levels of soil fertility. It continues to degrade. There is degradation over the years because of some unsustainable agricultural practices,” she pointed out.
Citing their national soil fertility mapping project, Bautista stressed that about 82 percent of the farmlands in the country have moderate to low levels of soil fertility.
Meanwhile, the agriculturist said imported synthetic fertilizers such as urea lowered the level of nutrients in farmlands.
In response, Bautista said, the government is “aggressively campaigning” for a balanced fertilization strategy to ramp up agricultural crop output.
Earlier, the DA Regional Field Office 9 said it will provide fertilizer assistance to rice farmers in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
The DA program shall cover fertilizer assistance under the Production Support Services starting 2023 wet season and 2023-2024 dry season in rice-producing cities and municipalities in Zamboanga Peninsula.
“In order to facilitate the necessary preparations, the Rice Program will base the number of bags to be distributed on the submitted liquidation lists from the Office of the City/Municipal Agriculturist,” DA regional executive director Dennis Arpia said.
Because of budget constraints, the first priority are farmers who have received hybrid rice seeds from the DA-9 rice program.
Next on the list are farmers who have received certified rice seeds in irrigated areas and farmers who received certified rice seeds in favorable rain-fed areas.