Agri department withdraws guidelines for conducting trials on new fertilizers

THE Department of Agriculture has withdrawn the guidelines for conducting bioefficacy trials on new fertilizer products, an apparent first step in easing the approval process for new types of fertilizer.

In a department circular, Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban ordered the revocation of guidelines issued by former Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar in February 2022 which required trials for new fertilizer products that have been commercially available for less than 10 years. The guidelines required the fertilizer to be trialed in both wet and dry seasons.

Inorganic fertilizers registered for 10 years or more were exempt from the bioefficacy trials.

The old guidelines also required the publication of an efficacy trial terminal report. The trial was to be run by an accredited researcher in line with the Fertilizer Regulatory Policies and Implementing Guidelines.

According to Mr. Panganiban’s circular, Mr. Dar’s guidelines had yet to be implemented.

“The Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority is hereby instructed to issue the appropriate guidelines (for product trials) after it conducts an assessment,” Mr. Panganiban said.

Last week, the Palace announced that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., who is also the Agriculture Secretary, wanted to introduce biofertilizer to farmers to reduce dependence on imported products which are petroleum-based. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera