June 2, 2022 – With the continuous inflation of fertilizer cost in the Philippines, the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) strongly supports the adaption of Balanced Fertilization Strategy (BFS) to improve rice production and income of rice farmers.

During the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) seed distribution kick-off in Calbayog City, Western Samar, the DA-PhilRice and Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) launched the Abonong Swak! Swak sa Budget! Swak sa Palay! campaign to increase the awareness of rice farmers on the benefits of using mixed organic and inorganic fertilizer application.

Ms. Maribel Jalalon, Chief Agriculturist of BSWM stated that aside from yield increase, the BFS adoption can help rehabilitate degraded rice soils. It can also improve the soils physical properties, maintain the balanced soil nutrients and availability of nutrients from the soil.

We are very thankful of free fertilizer from our city agriculture office but it does not suffice the nutrient needed by our crops because of the limited amount. That’s why we farmers should know what type of fertilizer to use, when should we apply, especially how much amount of fertilizer should we apply on our crops. Since we will now start planting, we will try some of the technology brought to us especially the Leaf Color Chart (LCC). After this cropping season, we will try to apply chicken manure during fallow period.” – Belen G. Bestudio, Brgy. Anislag, Calbayog City

The Abonong Swak campaign aims to encourage farmers to use diagnostic tools such as Minus-One Element Technique (MOET), Soil Test Kits, Rice Crop Manager Advisory Service (RCMAS), LCC, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based tools available online to boost farmers yield. (DA-PhilRice Bicol, FB)