THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) said it has capped the margins of fertilizer traders supplying a program for rice farmers at 6%.

In a memorandum order dated June 27, DA Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey announced the pricing policy for procuring fertilizer intended for the DA’s National Rice Program starting in the 2023 crop seasons.

“The prevailing price as monitored by the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) at the time the merchant ordered the stocks from his or her distributor shall be used as base price,” according to the memo.

“The merchant may add not more than 6% of the prevailing or base price for profit margin and other incidental costs,” it added.

The memo noted that the prevailing price should be based on the FPA price monitor’s finding not more than 14 days prior to the date of distribution set by the DA’s CAR office.

Merchants may add a delivery fee “not more than 50% of actual prevailing delivery cost being charged by public utility vehicles” if the fertilizer is not to be collected at the warehouse.

Mr. Odsey also set the minimum requirements for the venue of the caravan where vouchers will be distributed, including accessibility, ventilation, and security of the fertilizer.

Under Memorandum Circular No. 14, series of 2023, registered farmer-beneficiaries are to receive fertilizer vouchers which they may claim with their preferred merchants within the region, or from stocks in DA field offices directly procured by the department.

The fertilizer voucher is valued at P4,000 per hectare or the equivalent value for a fraction of a hectare, with various fertilizer grades registered under FPA eligible for claiming. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera