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Dhaka Tribune

Fertiliser price disparity ends

Update : 05 Oct 2013, 06:42 PM

The government has agreed to set a unified price of urea fertiliser at the factory gates and buffer godowns, ending a month-long uncertainty created over the supply of essential agriculture input due to the price disparity.

The finance ministry is expected to issue a circular today in this connection.

“The government has agreed to remove the disparity as our demand was rational,” Bangladesh Fertiliser Association (BFA) Executive Secretary Riaz Uddin Ahmad said on saturday.

The fertiliser dealers earlier threatened to stop purchasing and selling fertiliser across the country for an indefinite period unless their demands were met by today, insisting that the disparity caused losses to the dealers who collect urea from the buffer godowns at a higher price.

“Users of the fertiliser are mostly concentrated in the northern part of the country having no factory in the region, forcing dealers to purchase urea from buffer spots paying additional price. The decision will end this discrepancy,” Riaz said.

Last week, an inter-ministerial meeting had decided to fix similar price of urea for all the dealers, he said. The dealers will now be able to collect the fertiliser at a unified price. The finance ministry might officially issue a directive in this regard, he added.

At the factory gates, price of urea is Tk700 per 50kg bag, which is Tk735 at buffer godowns, according to Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), the state-run body that operates six urea factories in the country.

BFA, which comprises of over 5,000 dealers, has long been demanding to fix a similar price at both the outlets for the vital agriculture input that is being used by nearly 87% farmers of the country.

Urea is a key agricultural input that farmers apply on rice cultivation during the peak Aman season beginning from July, when demand for urea peaks to 565,000 tonnes.

The country’s six urea factories remain inoperative for around half of a year due to the low gas pressure, leading the government to meet the annual domestic demand by importing around 1.7m tonnes against the total demand for urea of 2.4m tonnes.

The six fertiliser factories produced nearly 1m tonnes of fertiliser last fiscal year against the target of 1.12m tonnes.

In the last fiscal year, the country’s total demand for fertiliser was almost 4.8m tonnes of which 2.4m tonnes are urea and 2.3m tonnes are non-urea. Almost 60-65% fertiliser are used in the peak season.

Since 1995, the government is distributing fertiliser among the farmers through dealers across the country.  

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