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Govt must stock fertiliser as farmers will need this vital agro-input in December Boro season

18 November 2022

THE government has approved the import of 1.8 lakh metric tonnes of fertiliser so that farmers do not face any crisis in the Boro season by the end of December. The decision was made during a meeting of the cabinet committee on government purchases. The government has been buying fertiliser for weeks to provide vital agricultural input to farmers at subsidised rates amid the economic uncertainty.
The government's focus was on domestic food production because the Russia-Ukraine war created concerns over food security. This is why the government will continue to develop its stock of fertiliser. It was decided that 90,000 metric tonnes of urea will be imported from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) of the Industries Ministry. The urea will cost $594.17 per tonne though earlier the cost was $625.83 per tonne. The government will also import 50,000 tonnes of Muriate of Potash (MOP) from Canada and another 40,000 tonnes of Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) from Saudi Arabia.
The Agriculture Ministry projects a requirement for 55.5 lakh tonnes of chemical fertiliser for fiscal 2022-23 and most of it would be met through imports because domestic production is inadequate. Bangladeshi factories produce 10 lakh tonnes of urea and small quantities of triple super phosphate and diammonium phosphate a year. The government purchase committee also approved BCIC to import 30,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid from the UAE for the state-owned DAP Fertiliser Company Limited.
We have the worst example of wasting fertiliser due to negligence indifferent warehouses and misappropriation by concerned officials. As the fear of economic recession and famine persists, stocking fertiliser for boosting the country's agriculture may be a wise decision. We ask the agriculture specialists and economists to suggest a balance plan for Bangladesh considering all concerns. We need to overcome the upcoming economic storms without losing any point.

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