Lots of fertilizer, but the prices are high


Yesterday, workers stack sacks of fertilizer in Amin Bazar just outside the capital. Even though there appears to be a lot of stock, farmers in the North say prices have increased due to a shortage of supplies. Photo: Anisur Rahman

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Yesterday, workers stack sacks of fertilizer in Amin Bazar just outside the capital. Even though there appears to be a lot of stock, farmers in the North say prices have increased due to a shortage of supplies. Photo: Anisur Rahman

Farmers in different districts buy fertilizers at prices higher than those set by the government even though the authorities insist that there is no crisis in the country.

According to the tariffs set by the government, a 50 kg bag of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) should sell for 1,100 Tk, Phosphate Diammonium (DAP) for 800 Tk and Muriate de Potasse (MOP) for 750 Tk.

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In reality, each bag of TSP sells for between 1,400 Tk and 1,700 Tk, the DAP between 950 Tk and 1,050 Tk and the MOP between 950 and 1,000 Tk, The Daily Star learned after speaking with farmers in Dinajpur. , Kushtia, Chuadanga, Naogaon, Jhenaidah. , Sirajganj and a few other districts recently.

Prices for fertilizers, needed to prepare the soil for growing vegetables, have been increased despite sufficient stocks, officials said, who said a section of unscrupulous dealers and retailers were charging extra under the pretext of rising prices. price in the international market. .

The current stock of TSP is 1.92 tonne lakh against a demand of 1.14 tonne lakh, according to officials from the Ministry of Agriculture. The stock of DAP and MOP stood at 5.96 and 3.12 lakh tonnes against demand of 2.88 and 1.29 lakh tonnes respectively.

The price hike comes even as Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on November 30 ordered officials on the ground to closely monitor the land so that no one could sell fertilizers at prices above government rates.

There is a sufficient supply of fertilizer in the country and the government would not increase prices even if they have almost tripled in the international market, he said.

Razzaque also called on officials to step up surveillance to ensure adequate supplies to farmers.

And yet, farmers, already struggling with the recent rise in diesel prices, continue to bear the brunt of the situation.

“Dealers and retailers have increased prices by taking advantage of the current situation,” said Aminur Rashid, a farmer at upazila Belkuchi in Sirajganj.

Farmer Mohammad Nazim of upazila Damurhuda in Chuadanga told the Daily Star that he needs at least 40 bags of urea-free fertilizer per season to grow maize, bananas, cotton and rice.

Recently, he bought 10 bags of TSP from a dealer for Tk 1,700 each, instead of Tk 1,100 set by the government.

“I asked the dealer about the price increase and he said there was a supply crisis,” he said.

Azizur Rahman, a farmer from the Gopalganj Hat area in Dinajpur Sadar, said he went to the market two weeks ago to buy MOP but could not find any.

A district concessionaire said the government allocation could not meet local demand. So, they had to buy fertilizers from outside and therefore higher prices.

Wishing not to be named, a neighborhood dealer said he was facing a supply crisis and this led to the price hike. They bought fertilizers from importers at higher prices, making it difficult for them to keep up with government rates, he added.

When asked, Md Asadullah, director general of the Agricultural Extension Department, said that there is currently no fertilizer crisis in the country.

“As prices increase in the international market, some resellers and retailers might try to manipulate them. However, we are organizing mobile hearings to put an end to this illegal practice. If we find specific complaints against dealers, we will cancel their dealership, ”he added.

At present, only the most widely used fertilizing urea, which is applied to fields after growing crops and vegetables, sells at the government fixed rate of 800 Tk for a 50 kg bag.


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