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Fertiliser supplies to dealers fall due to blockade

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan

The supply of urea and non urea fertilisers to the dealers has drastically dropped due to severe road communication disruptions caused by the nationwide blockade, officials said.
They, however, said that there were sufficient fertilisers in the stocks at the national level.
They also said that unscrupulous fertilizer traders were charging higher prices from the farmers at different areas citing shortage of stocks.
They said that the unscrupulous traders were doing this taking advantage of the blockade.
The farmers have been holding protest demonstrations demanding adequate fertilizer supplies for the boro crop, the peak time for fertilizer use, said Bangladesh Fertilizer Association sources.
It is also peak season for the use non-urea fertilisers like MOP and DAP for the potato and vegetable crops, said officials.
According to Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, the stocks of urea fertilisers at the dealers’ level have dropped to 77,000 tonnes.
They, however, estimated the stocks at the national level at 5.69 lakh tonnes as on December 7.
According to official records, DAP stocks at the dealers’ level stand at 43,000 tonnes.
But the DAP stocks at the national level is estimated at 3.6 lakh tones, said officials.
At the dealers level MOP stocks, they said stand at 47,000 tonnes and TSP at 38,000 tonnes.
At the national level MOP stocks are estimated at -2.86 lakh tonnes and TSP at 3.2 lakh tonnes.
BFA president Kamrul Ashraf Khan told New Age Sunday that despite enough stocks  of urea and non urea fertilisers their supply to the growers could not be ensured due to the blockade in force.
The growers agitations could breakout for fertilizers, he expressed the fear.
The supplies should be rushed to the northern districts immediately, he said.
The demand and supply problems together with increased transport fares have pushed up the fertilizer prices, he said.
He said that transport fares increased 10 times due to the blockade.
Replying to New Age, agriculture ministry secretary SM Nazmul Islam said Sunday that efforts were on to reach fertilisers to the dealers under government’s initiative so that there was no dearth of fertilizer supplies to  the growers.
‘The river way would be the best way to ship fertilisers from the sea ports to beef up the buffer stocks,’ he said.
 He also said that about 35,000 tonnes of fertilisers shipped to internal destinations on last Friday when the blockade was withdrawn.
Nazmul said that the government had sufficient stocks of fertilisers for the boro season due to start later this month.
 About the price escalation, agriculture ministry officials said that mobile courts deployed at the field level would take action against greedy traders.
New Age Lalmonirhat correspondent reported that due to high fertilize prices  the farmers confined fertilizer dealer and  owner of Bogdadi traders Rafiqul Islam for four hours at Durakut Bazaar in Lalmonirhat
The farmers also demonstrations in the front the dealer’s shop blocking the Lalmonirhat-Mogholhat Rroad.
Besides, hundreds of farmers at Goddimari and Singimari villages in Hatibandha upazila held protest demonstrations  blocking the Lalmonirhat-Burimari Highway for two hours Saturday morning.
Now one kg of urea costs Tk 26 to 28 against the government fixed price of Tk 14.
And one kg of MOP costs Tk 24 to 26 against the official price of Tk 13, one Kg of DAP costs Tk 48 to 50 against the official mprice of Tk 25 and one kg of TSP costs  Tk 35 to 40 against the official price of Tk 20.
New Age Khulna Correspondent reported quoting BADC Khulna divisional office sources that virtually no supply of fertilisers from six enlisted dealers in 16 districts of Khulna and Barisal divisions created grave concern for the growers.
BADC  joint director for fertilisers Molla Shahidur Rahman said that 70,000 tonnes of TSP and 65,000 tonnes of MOP imported by the government were left in an open space at Roosevelt Jetty o the Mongla Port.  
Besides, he said a huge quantity of imported fertilisers in cargo vessels at Mongla Port  could not be unloaded due to transport problems.  
It is learnt from the records of Khulna divisional BADC office that 1,35,000 tonnes of imported TSP and MOP fertilisers have been left in the open space of Roosevelt Jetty by two shipping agents:  S. S. Shipping and South Delta Shipping.

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