February 1, 2023

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Businessmen who intend to sell fertilizers, pesticides, or other farm inputs must have in their employ a “fertilizer and pesticide dispenser,” according to an official of the Fertilizers and Pesticides Authority.
Like doctors who prescribe medicines, fertilizer and pesticide dispensers guide buyers on appropriate and affordable farm inputs, said FPA regional coordinator Reynaldo Segismundo in a forum where he detailed the role of accredited safety dispensers (ASD).
FPA mandates that all FPA licensees or applicants for fertilizer, pesticide dealership, and retail outlet must have ASD who must be trained to supervise, advise, and assist buyers of fertilizers/pesticides on the safe handling and storage and proper, safe, and judicious use during the daily operations of the store or business. 
For every farm supply business, FPA requires at least two trained ASDs like the proprietor and a staff.
“If the farmer or buyer is unsure of what to purchase, an ASD should guide and explain to the customer. If not properly guided, it would mean a loss to the farmer because the buyer was not properly informed on the appropriate use of the product,” Segismundo said.
“A trained ASD is expected to ask the buyer’s concerns prior to releasing any item not only for the sake of selling,” he added.  The buyer needs to be clarified of the item labels which include the active ingredients and descriptions, handling, dosage, and warranty.
FPA Provincial Officer for Benguet and Baguio Rowena Billig said FPA holds ASD trainings for fertilizer and pesticide handling at least twice a year.
In the training, ASDs are taught the categories of fertilizers and pesticides, pesticide information and management, soil and fertilizer management, fertilizer handling and management, FPA rules and regulations, pesticide first aid management, exposure to pesticides, types of pesticide poisoning, signs and symptoms of poisoning among others. – Susan C. Aro