THE Department of Agriculture (DA) received on Wednesday, March 30, some P4 million worth of fertilizers from the Chinese Embassy.

The fertilizer donation is meant to sustain rice production in the country amid various challenges.

“At present, there are concerns about supply shortages and high prices of fertilizers affecting farmers around the globe. I am fully aware that Filipino farmers and consumers are currently experiencing the effects of the problem,” said Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, who assured that the People’s Republic of China will continue to support Philippine agriculture in order to ensure the welfare of the farmers.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, for his part, thanked China for the assistance, which he said would be of great help to boost farmers’ yield.

“Let us nurture and enhance the relationship with the People's Republic of China. I think the farmers are now ready to be more receptive to newer technologies. We want them to continue to have higher levels of productivity and we want them to have high incomes as well,” Dar said.

Aside from the turnover of fertilizers, the two officials also led the inauguration of new breeding laboratories at the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT).

The three new PhilSCAT laboratories are dedicated to grain quality, pollen evaluation, and seed storage.

Also included among PhilSCAT’s new facilities is the cold water pond, which is intended for the evaluation and seed multiplication of the Thermosensitive Genic Male Sterile (TGMS) for the development of TGMS-based or two-line hybrid rice.