Agriculture in the Philippines in brief
The Philippines is a country of similar size as Poland, and a population of nearly 100 million. Therefore, agriculture is of particular importance for the nation.
Although the consumption of chemical products (mainly nitrogen-based fertilizers) had been growing from the early 1990′ to the peak in 2004, when over 2.5 million tonnes was consumed, the trend was reversed and had fallen to c. 1.7 million tonnes in 2012. The dip resulted from rising prices following the economic crisis in 2008. Import is currently dominating the fertilizers trade structure, with 89% share in the market. Imported fertilizers are often duty-free, thanks to agreements between ASEAN members and other countries, namely Japan, South Korea, Australia and China.
Troublesome supply chain
The availability of fertilizers for the farmers in the Philippines is hampered by a complicated system of distribution. Before reaching the end used, the products change hands a number of times. The simplest path is through an agricultural cooperative, which had bought the fertilizers from the importer. However, if the following chain is in place: regional distributors – wholesalers – retailers, the final price of the goods might reach 160% of the initial value, as each intermediary charges their own commission. Improving fertilizers’ availability is a burning issue for the national agriculture, and it is necessary if farms are to function in an efficient manner and become competitive on the market.