Sample tests find 40 per cent of fertilisers adulteratedMd Owasim Uddin Bhuyan
The state-run Soil Resources Development Institute has found some 40 per cent of both locally produced and imported fertilisers adulterated.
Laboratory tests by SRDI also found that the adulteration levels in fertilisers, including urea, DAP, SSP, SOP and boron, increased compared with the levels last year.
SRDI officials on Tuesday submitted the findings to the agriculture ministry. The report on ‘standards of fertilisers-2013’ said that 40 per cent of 5,190 samples, sent by different agencies from across the country, were found adulterated.
Soil and agriculture experts said use of adulterated fertilisers with high levels of ‘heavy metals’ like cadmium, mercury, chromium and lead, was harmful for environment and crops produced by using such fertilisers were hazardous for human health.
Agriculture officials and fertiliser dealers said organised gangs, including manufacturers, dishonest importers and dealers, were involved in adulterating fertilisers. Besides, some dealers mix substandard fertilisers with quality products and supply it to the market for higher profits. SSP topped the list of adulterated fertilisers (93 per cent) followed by mixed fertilisers (77 per cent), the test found. The report said that most of the adulterated fertilisers were produced in Bangladesh.
‘I do not know whether substandard DAP, TSP and other fertilisers are imported from China, Australia, Tunisia and Morocco or whether they are adulterated,’ Kamrul Ashraf Khan, president of Bangladesh Fertiliser Association, told New Age.
According to the report, adulteration of urea increased from two per cent in 2010-11 to three per cent in 2011-12 while DAP from 21 per cent to 22 per cent, SSP from 67 per cent to 93 per cent and SOP from 30 per cent to 59 per cent during the same period.
However, adulteration of MOP decreased to 7 per cent in 2011-12 from 11 per cent in 2010-11 while zinc sulphate decreased to 76 per cent from 80 per cent, mixed fertiliser to 77 per cent from 80 per cent and magnesium suphate to three per cent from 15 per cent.
Adulteration of TSP remained at the same level of 25 per cent, it said.
According to statistics available at the agriculture ministry, the domestic demand for urea is 24.5 lakh tonnes for the 2013-14 financial year and the government has set a target to produce about 7.5 lakh tonnes. About 17 lakh tonnes of urea would have to be import to meet the demand in the current year, they said.
The domestic demand for DAP is about 6.5 lakh tonnes, MOP 8 lakh tonnes and TSP 6.75 lakh tonnes, the ministry officials said. Almost all non-urea fertilisers are imported for domestic consumption.
SRDI chief scientific officer Nazmul Hasan told New Age that the SRDI did not collect samples of fertilisers but examined the suspected samples sent by various agencies and departments.
Of the samples, some 40 per cent of fertilisers were detected to have been adulterated – many of them mixed with ‘heavy metals’ or elements more than the allowable limits, he said.
The report said that the samples were sent by different organizations, including the department of
agriculture extension, district/upazila administrations, police department, customs authorities, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council, local fertiliser manufacturers and importers.
Experts and farmers expressed concern over reports that adulterated fertilisers were being supplied to the market. They said excessive use of adulterated fertilisers would reduce both fertility of soil and productivity of crops.
Harun-ur Rashid, general secretary of Bangladesh Jute Growers’ Samity, told New Age that most of the farmers in the country were illiterate and they bought fertilisers from retail markets. They often found fertilisers not working well, he said.
He said that the authorities concerned should continue mobile court operation to stop sale of adulterated fertilisers on the market.
Bangladesh Krishak Samity general secretary Sajjad Zahir Chandan told New Age that farmers in the northern and southern regions were already experiencing decline in crop production and soil fertility due to excessive use of adulterated fertilisers.
He alleged that most of the adulterated fertilisers were smuggled to the country from India and imported from China.
Principal scientific officer (soil) at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council M Baktear Hossain told New Age that the department of agriculture extension was monitoring the situation at upazila to check adulteration of fertilisers.
comments powered by Disqus
Apparel workers continued agitation to press home their demand for a minimum monthly wage of Tk 8,100 for the fourth consecutive day in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Tangail, ignoring the government’s call for joining their works. The government held a tripartite meeting with factory owners and workers on Monday... Full story
Apparel factory owners on Tuesday said that they would not be able to pay wages and festival allowances to workers if the unrest in the sector over wage increase continued. The fresh unrest and vandalism in the apparel sector over an increase in wages creates new fears and the situation... Full story
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal activists on Tuesday went on berserk and vandalised vehicles in the capital, Savar and Rajshahi, protesting at the inclusion of their top leaders in the charge-sheet of the case of bomb attack on the house of home minister Hasanul Haq Inu. The activists, backed by Bangladesh... Full story
A major earthquake hit a remote part of western Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 45 people and prompting a new island to rise from the sea just off the country’s southern coast. Tremors were felt as far away as the Indian capital of New Delhi, hundreds of miles to the east, where buildings... Full story
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Tuesday that a four-day siege by Islamist gunmen of a Nairobi shopping mall was over, with the ‘immense’ loss of 61 civilians and six members of the security forces. ‘We have ashamed and defeated our attackers, that part of our task is completed,’ a sombre Kenyatta, who... Full story
Civil society think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue on Tuesday proposed Tk 6,560 in monthly minimum wage for entry-level apparel workers. The minimum wage needs to be increased to Tk 8,200, CPD officials said at a dialogue in the CIRDAP auditorium. The CPD executive... Full story
The acting BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday alleged, alluding to the shipping minister Shajahan Khan, that a minister had started a new game to destroy apparel industry, He said this at a discussion Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Muktijuddher Prajanma organised at the National Press Club. Full story
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday received an award for Bangladesh for its stellar performance in fighting against poverty as well as significant reduction in poverty during the present government. The International Organisation for South-South Cooperation handed over the award to the Bangladesh premier at a function at the IOSSC headquarters in New York Monday evening. Full story
The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday called on states to stop sending weapons to the Syria conflict as he opened the annual General Assembly summit. ‘I appeal to all states to stop fuelling the bloodshed and to end the arms flows to all parties,’ Ban said. Russia is the key arms provider... Full story
The Dhaka-Sundarban long march, which reached Manikganj town on Tuesday afternoon for an overnight stay, called on the government to cancel the Rampal Thermal Power Plant Project terming it ‘contrary to national interests’. The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral... Full story
German Ambassador in Dhaka Albrecht Conze on Tuesday said political dialogue rather sooner than later is obvious to have peaceful and just elections in Bangladesh in the coming months. ‘Germany joins the UN secretary general and other international efforts in expressing the deep desire... Full story
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee’s appeal seeking acquittal from death sentence on war crimes charges. Earlier, a five-member bench headed by chief justice Md Muzammel Hossain rejected Sayedee’s lawyers’ petition... Full story
Transport owners in Chittagong called a 24-hour strike for today in protest at vandalism a mob carried out after a student had been killed in a traffic accident at Sitakunda in Chittagong on Tuesday. Rabiul Islam Rubel, 22, a student of International Islamic University in Chittagon, was killed in the accident. Full story
Expressing her firm confidence about holding the next election in a free, fair and neutral manner, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said that the upcoming polls in Bangladesh would make its democratic process and constitutional rule sustainable. Full story
An activist of Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal, youth front of the main opposition BNP, was stabbed to death allegedly by Awami League men at Jagannathpur under Chaugacha upazila in Jessore Monday night. Local BNP and its front organisations have called a half-day general strike in the district for Wednesday... Full story
The former leader of the Maldives who was the front-runner in elections due this weekend called Tuesday for nationwide protests after the archipelago’s Supreme Court suspended the vote. Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) asked supporters to join peaceful... Full story
Three people, including a woman, were killed in separate incidents in the capital on Tuesday. The deceased were identified as Roksana Begum Laila, 36, wife of Saifullah Khan, of Rayerbagh in Jatrabari, Aziz Matubbar, 60, of Sadar upazila in Faridpur and Chitta Ranjan Chowdhury, 45, of Bashuria village in Muksudpur upazila of Gopalganj. Full story
A worker died after falling into a washing machine at a factory in Bhannara of Kaliakoir upazila on Tuesday. The deceased was identified as Ujjal Mia, 22, washing machine helper of ‘China Kitchen Ware Industry’ and a resident of Shibpur Shelerchar village in Gopalpur upazila of Tangail district. Full story
Airport Armed Police arrested an employee of a private airline on charge of stealing fuel from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Monday night. The arrestee was identified as Sohel,28, working as a welder of Bismillah Airlines. Sources at the airport said some vehicles of GMG Airlines... Full story