4.1 Status of the Fertilizer Industry
4.2 Inorganic Fertilizer Resources
4.3 Organic Fertilizer Resources
4.4 Marketing and Distribution
4.5 Directories of Importers, Manufacturers, and Distributors of Fertilizers
4.1.1 Fertilizer sales
4.1.2 Imports, production, and exports
4.1.3 Fertilizers used in aquaculture
A total of 1,474,495 mt of inorganic fertilizers, mainly in granulated form, were sold locally in 1994 (Table 56), with six fertilizer products representing 99% of the sales; these including urea or 46-0-0 (39.4%), complete or 14-14-14 (22.9%), ammonium sulfate or 21-0-0 (14.8%), monoammonium phosphate or 16-20-0 (14.7%), potash or 0-0-60 (4.6%), and 18-46-0 or diammonium phosphate (2.2%). Sales of these major grades for the period 1992-1994 are shown in Figures 31-32. Luzon currently accounts for 50-60% of the inorganic fertilizer market, Visayas 17-20%, and Mindanao 20-28% (Francisco Cornejo, pers.com.). Regions II, III, IV, VI, and XI are the biggest fertilizer markets representing nearly half of the total fertilizer consumption.
An estimated 60% of fertilizer sales is used for food crops, principally rice and also corn (Yaptengco, Jr., 1991), with the remainder mainly applied to plantation crops such as coconut, banana, sugarcane, and pineapple. There is no record on the volume of organic fertilizer sales, processed and unprocessed. All organic fertilizers are sourced or manufactured locally.
Approximately 50-55% of the inorganic fertilizer supply and 70-75% of the inorganic fertilizer utilization in the Philippines is imported. In 1994, for example, the Philippines imported an aggregate volume of 1,168,315 mt of various fertilizer grades, with urea accounting for 57.5%, ammonium sulfate for 23.4%, and muriate of potash for 6% (Table 57). Ammonium sulfate is especially imported when the international market price is lower than that of domestic production. The majority of the finished fertilizer grades are sourced from Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, Indonesia, USA, and Korea. Other important suppliers include Bangladesh, Canada, CIS, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Qatar, Singapore, and UK.
Domestic fertilizer production in 1994 totalled 1,102,353 mt, largely in the form of 14-14-14, 16-20-0, and 16-16-8 (Table 57). The bulk of the 14-14-14 and about half of the 16-20-0 produced in the Philippines was consumed by the local market. A total of 697,739 mt of fertilizers were exported in 1994, primarily as 16-16-8 (48%), 16-20-0 (22.6%), and 18-46-0 (13.6%). These in turn were purchased by Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Australia. For the manufacturer these various nutrient grades, local fertilizer plants depend partly upon the use of imported raw materials such as rock phosphate, anhydrous ammonia, and sulphuric acid.
The most widely applied fertilizer grades are urea and 16-20-0. Urea is mainly used as a nitrogen source whilst 16-20-0 is applied primarily as a source of phosphorus. In some areas 18-46-0, and less commonly 14-14-14, are used instead of 16-20-0. Potassium is normally not regarded as a limiting nutrient. The only liquid fertilizer used in fishponds presently is Algafer (11-3-4) which also contains naturally occurring growth promotants from seaweed extracts. A fertilizer occasionally used by some shrimp farmers is Negros island for enhancing plankton growth is calcium nitrate which reportedly does not promote luminous bacterial bloom as urea does.
Chicken manure is the standard organic fertilizer used in aquaculture, although to a much lesser extent cattle and carabao manures, mudpress, and rice bran are also used. Guano or bat droppings are also a preferred fertilizer for fishponds but their supply is now scarce.
Inorganic and organic fertilizers are normally applied together; Table 58 presents the inorganic nutrient grades the processed organic fertilizers used locally for aquaculture. The use and application of fertilizers in aquaculture is discussed further in Section 5.2.
As of 31 August 1995 there were a total of 90 registered importers (compared with only 27 in 1990) of which 66 are based in Metro Manila (Table 63). Importers generally source their requirements directly from foreign suppliers or through indentors/traders. The major importers include: Atlas Fertilizer, Farmix Fertilizer, Ferchemx, Fertiphil, La Filipina Uy Gongco, Modern Time Marketing, Norsk Hydro (Phil.), Parafert, Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer, Philippine Planters Consumers, Planters Products, and Swire Agricultural Products. For the past five years, the top 10 importers accounted for about 80% of the total import volume.
The Philippines currently has four fertilizer manufacturing plants that produce various fertilizer grades for local use and for export (Figure 33); two fertilizer plants located in Luzon and the other two in the Visayas. Three of these plants produce phosphatic-based fertilizers whilst the remainder manufactures sulfate of potash. Table 59 summarizes their physical facilities and capabilities. The fertilizers manufactured locally include 21-0-0, 16-20-0, 18-46-0, 16-16-9, 0-18-0 (single superphosphate), 0-46-0 (triple superphosphate), 15-15-15, 14-14-14, 12-12-12, 16-16-8, 6-9-15, 0-0-60 (muriate of potash), and 0-0-52 (sulfate of potash).
Three other chemical fertilizer plants ceased operation between the late 1970s and early 1980s due to uncompetitive production costs; these being Maria Cristina, Chemical Industries of the Philippines, and Planters Products.
4.3.1 Animal manures
4.3.2 Processed organic fertilizers
4.3.3 Agricultural by-products and processing residues
A wide variety of organic materials can be used as fertilizers for fishponds, such as animal manures (e.g. livestock dung, liquid manure from livestock holding facilities, night soil), agricultural by-products and processing wastes (e.g. hay, mudpress; cottonseed, groundnut, and sunflower seed cake; soybean wastes), green manures (e.g. grass, leaves, and reeds), domestic wastes (e.g. sewage), and industrial wastes (e.g. effluent from distilleries, leather and milk factories, sugar refineries, fish canning plants) (Hickling, 1962). The choice of the appropriate organic fertilizer should consider: the feeding habit of the cultured species, the effect on the desired natural food organisms, cost, abundance, and proximity of the source to the fish farm. The following discussion focuses on the different organic fertilizer types that have or may have commercial value to aquaculture practices in the Philippines.
Unlike inorganic fertilizers, animal manures not only provide nutrients but also provide organic substrate vital for enhancing primary productivity within aquatic environments. Typical nutrient analyses of commonly available manures are shown in Table 60. Of these, chicken manure is the most valuable in aquaculture because of its effectiveness in promoting natural food growth, its availability, and its ease in handling and application.
Although the countrys chicken population based on the 1994 inventory numbered 93,109,710 (Table 20), not all of these animals contributed to the available manure resource. It is only with broiler and layer chickens that manure collection is practical and economical since all other domestic birds are either left to roam in the open or are not held in dense enough numbers. Broiler and layer chickens numbered 43,113, 420 in 1994 with a total manure production of approximately 1,180,230 mt for the entire year.
The main sources of chicken manure are the neighbouring provinces of Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Cavite (Figure 34). Table 61 presents the estimated annual manure supply from the major provinces growing broiler and layer chickens. The demand of chicken manure as a fishpond fertilizer comes mainly from the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Capiz, Iloilo, Aklan, Negros Occidental, and Zamboanga del Sur. Panay island which has a high concentration of fishponds relative to its total land area, is frequently short in supply of chicken manure, especially during the summer months when fertilizer use is heaviest. Consequently, it is now common practice for many farmers to reserve manure from poultry farms before it is even produced, or to buy in bulk during the rainy months and store this for the summer.
A major manure resource that largely goes to waste are those produced from livestock holding facilities (e.g. piggeries, cattle fattening farms, or dairy farms). Unlike poultry where the droppings can be collected as solids beneath the pen, the manure from these livestock facilities are flushed out with water in the form of slurry. This is collected in a manure lagoon, or disposed off as raw effluents in waterways (in some areas, this actually causes serious pollution problems in aquaculture). As a result of these handling and transporting difficulties, manure slurry is generally of little value in aquaculture and agriculture. Transporting manure slurry to fishponds is impractical, laborious and costly, considering that many extensive farms that will benefit from its use are not that readily accessible by road.
The prospect of integrating milkfish, tilapia, or carp culture with livestock farming in the Philippines has resulted in more failures than successes. This has been attributed largely to the lack of the sufficient area required to efficiently utilize the effluents. A typical 1,000 head piggery, for example, would require well over 1 5 ha of fishpond area (Delmendo, 1980). In reality, very few livestock farms would posses this size of farm, or would be willing to devote such an area at the expense of their expansion needs. In most instances manure lagoons are too small and inevitably turn into anaerobic ponds. Manure slurry may, however, find more practical use if the greater part of the solids can be separated from the liquid component. An example of a slurry separator designed for such an application is already available locally (Interworld Farms Inc., Rm. 1118 State Centre, 333 Juan Luna St., Binondo, Manila).
A few livestock farms utilize manure slurry for biogas production or treat this with bacterial/enzyme amendments in their manure lagoons to hasten organic matter decomposition. The quality of effluent produced from these treatments is considerably improved and can be used in aquaculture.
Processed organic fertilizers are composed of a mixture of animal manures, agricultural wastes (e.g. mudpress), and limestone, composted for at least a week through biological, chemical, and mechanical action. These are usually enriched with primary and secondary nutrients, and in some cases also with trace elements. The product appears like soil or peat and normally contains two to six times more nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than fresh manures. Albeit its use in aquaculture is still small, more farmers are learning to adopt this non-traditional fertilizer especially when the supply of chicken manure is scarce. Processed organic fertilizers is usually two or three times more costly compared to chicken manure
Because animal manures are a major ingredient in processed organic fertilizers, it should not come as a surprise that many of the manufacturers are located near poultry and livestock farming centres (Figure 33). Some of the largest manufacturers of organic fertilizers include Victorias Milling Company, Sagana 100 Philippines, Galactic Resources Development, Sun Chemicals, and Datingbayan (Table 68).
It is interesting to note that a company in Negros Occidental is currently building a plant for manufacturing pelletized organic fertilizers with the help of foreign technology. The product is intended to be enriched with chemical fertilizers according to the requirement of specific agricultural crops and soil types. The fertilizer is claimed to have superior nutrient availability and integrity, apart from having improved handling and storage properties.
The Philippines, with its agricultural based economy, is abound in organic waste resources but only a small part of these are currently being converted to processed organic fertilizers (Table 62). With regard to their application in aquaculture, much of these agricultural wastes cannot be used directly as fertilizers because of their very low N-P-K level, high cellulose and lignin contents, wide carbon-nitrogen ratios, and in some cases high content of toxic organic chemicals.
Only mudpress and third class rice bran (D3) have so far found application in fishponds although their utilization is not very common. A problem frequently encountered with mudpress and rice bran is that they tend to exude large amounts of organic pollutants in the water thus requiring flushing before the fish can be stocked. Moreover, mudpress is also not readily decomposed causing the pond to become shallower with time. Mudpress though is usually available at no charge from sugar mills (Figure 35). Some farmers also report that old powdery rice hull that has undergone several years of decomposition can also be used as an organic fertilizer for enhancing the growth of benthic natural food.
So as to promote the use of organic fertilizer in agriculture the Department of Science and Technology (through the Philippine Council for Agriculture Resources, Research and Development) has been tasked to assist with the development of compost fungus activator production centres nationwide, to promote composting, primarily in surrounding lowland irrigated rice farms, and to pursue research and development activities in this field.
4.4.2 Marketing channels
Commercial granulated fertilizers are packed in woven polypropylene (PP) bags with polyethylene (PE) liners; the net content of each bag being 50 kg. The mouth of the PE liner is manually tied with a string or is heat-sealed, while the PP bag is mechanically sewn. Organic fertilizers are similarly packed and mechanically sewn in 50 kg woven polypropylene bags although plastic liners are normally not used. Most organic fertilizers are marketed within the region they are produced.
The Philippine fertilizer industry now operates largely under a free market system with the production, importation, marketing, and distribution of fertilizers being handled by the private sector. Following the trade liberation policy in 1 986, and the removal of levy and other restrictions, smaller companies engaged in agricultural trading were able to break into the fertilizer market once controlled only by a few private and government-assisted firms.
The marketing of fertilizers passes through three main levels, namely: (a) importers/ manufacturers; (b) distributors; and (c) dealers (Figure 36). All importations can only be made by FPA licensed importers and cover only products registered at the FPA. A directory of importers is given in Table 66 and manufacturers in Tables 67 and 68.
The fertilizer distributors, or wholesalers, numbering around 132, constitute the second level of fertilizer marketing (Table 68), and usually cover several provinces or an entire region, and in turn sell to dealers or outlets. A few importers are also distributors themselves and this provides them with the advantage of direct market access.
The dealers constitute the last step of the marketing channel and are the ones in direct contact with the farmers. Because of the free market system, most distributors also hold a dealer license, and sell directly in areas where there are no dealers, where local dealers are weak, or to plantation accounts which do not require the networking advantage offered by the dealers. In many cases, it is therefore difficult to draw the line between distributors and dealers. There are currently 1,253 FPA registered fertilizer dealers (excluding pesticide handlers) throughout the country. A complete list is available from the FPA.
Imported fertilizers, as finished products in bulk or in bags, are discharged in major ports such as Manila and Poro Point in Luzon; Iloilo, Bacolod, and Cebu in the Visayas; and Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and General Santos in Mindanao. Figure 38 shows the geographical location of the major fertilizer port facilities and intermediate handling ports throughout the country. The transportation of fertilizers from major ports to the company warehouse and subsequently to distributors and dealers are made mainly by inter-island vessels and by road; approximately 85% is transported by boat and 15% by road (FADINAP, 1992).
The selling cost of inorganic fertilizers is generally dictated by the prevailing international market price, foreign exchange rate, and the local supply and demand situation as influenced by factors such as changes in rainfall pattern, type of crop planted, calamities, and importer speculation. Table 64 summarizes the average import and retail price of the major fertilizer grades from 1983-1992. Typical costs involved in the pricing of fertilizers are shown in Table 65. Since the industry was deregulated in 1986, the increased number of fertilizer handlers have resulted in lesser margins for traders and better prices for the farmers. Organic fertilizers maintain a more stable cost; the price ranging from US$ 3-5/kg depending upon the level of nutrient enrichment.
The following directories have been compiled, namely:
· Directory of fertilizer importers (Table 66);
· Directory of inorganic fertilizer manufacturers (Table 67);
· Directory of organic fertilizer manufacturers (Table 68);and
· Directory of fertilizer distributors (Table 69).