FPA monitors underweight fertilizers in Zambales
Written by : Quirino T. Baterna, Agriculturist II | Published: 12 February 2024
PROVINCE OF ZAMBALES | February 12, 2024 – In an effort to address the proliferation of underweight fertilizer bags in the market, the FPA conducted an ocular inspection of three fertilizer warehouses in the Province of Zambales from January 31 to February 01, 2024.
The FPA Monitoring Team was spearheaded by Deputy Executive Director for Fertilizer, Dr. Myer G. Mula, Senior Agriculturist Mr. Edward Allen Calapatia, and Provincial Officer (PO) Mr. Quirino T. Baterna.
The team inspected warehouses of Golden Harvest Agricultural Supply, and J. Delos Santos Poultry & Agricultural Supply in Sta. Cruz and Agriscor, Inc. in Castillejos.
Before the actual weighing of bags, Dr. Mula briefed the establishments’ representatives and explained reports of underweight fertilizers being sold in the market that incur income loss among farmers.
265 bags of fertilizers composed of 21-0-0, 14-14-14, and 46-0-0 were weighed, from which a total of 21 bags were below the standard weight of 50 kgs per bag. The lowest weight recorded was 48.74 kg.
As a corrective action, the underweight bags will be subjected to re-bagging to be supervised by FPA field personnel. Dr. Mula recommended conducting random weighing upon delivery of their order and rejecting bags that were found to be underweight. He also suggested using an electronic weighing scale for more precise weight measurements.
Dr. Mula also reminded the owners of the establishments to be vigilant about the proliferation of off-specification, unregistered, and underweight fertilizer products in the market. Non-compliance can have far-reaching consequences, affecting not just the distributor´s and dealer´s income but also the farmers and fishers value for money in purchasing the fertilizers. Likewise, underweight fertilizers can negatively impact the nutrient requirements of plants, as fertilizer recommendations are made on a per-bag basis. In this manner, productivity will be most affected.
Issues and concerns gathered from the stakeholders during the inspection were noted by the monitoring team to be used as vital inputs in revising the Fertilizer Regulatory Policies and Implementing Guidelines (Bluebook).
FPA also encourages the public, especially the farmers, to weigh the bag of fertilizers before buying, check its physical appearance for any defects (e.g., damaged sack or sewn), and ask for a replacement if needed. ###
Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) Online ISSN: 2815-1674
Published by the FPA Information and Communications Team