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Dhaka Tribune

Minister: Bangladesh has ample fertilizer stock, no shortage

Prices are likely to be revised up slightly, says the agriculture minister

Update : 07 Mar 2022, 05:12 PM

Amid fears that a global shortage of fertilizers is on the horizon due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the agriculture minister says Bangladesh has sufficient stock for meeting the needs of farmers.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Abdur Razzaque, however, said that the prices may go up slightly.

“There is enough stock of fertilizers. Farmers should not harbour any worries related to scarcity,” he said while briefing the media on the 36th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific.

The conference to be held in Dhaka from March 8 to 11 will be participated by 900 representatives from 43 member states. 

Despite sanctions imposed on Russia by the West, Bangladesh will still attempt to purchase 30,000 tonnes of MOP fertilizer from Russia in line with a previous order, the finance minister said on Thursday.

However, if the current situation makes it difficult to obtain the fertilizer, Bangladesh will seek alternate sources, said AHM Mustafa Kamal.

The Cabinet Committee on Government Procurement has cleared the proposal by the Agricultural Development Corporation to import MOP fertilizer as part of the third lot of purchases from the Russian state-run corporation Prodintorg at a cost of Tk150 crore. 

Asked whether the current situation in Ukraine would cause issues for the purchase, Kamal said that it “was undeniable” that Bangladesh had good relations with Russia.

Bangladesh, however, is already in a fix over the huge subsidies it provides for fertilizers.

“The government is in a bit of a dilemma over the issue. A four-fold increase in subsidies [for fertilizers] is hampering development and infrastructure projects,” Agriculture Minister Razzaque said last month. 

The finance ministry has already asked them to reduce the amount of subsidy, according to him. 

Subsidies in fertilizer for the ongoing 2021-22 fiscal year will reach at Tk28,000 crore due to price hike in the international market, the minister said then, before adding the government had set asideTk9,500 crore in the budget for subsidies.

Following a global price hike, the government now subsidizes Tk82 for a kg of Urea, Tk50 in TSP, Tk41 in MOP and Tk79 in DAP. 

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