Some dishonest fertiliser dealers of Sirajganj and some other districts of the country’s northern region have allegedly created an artificial fertiliser crisis in the areas and have been selling fertiliser at a higher rate, showing the excuse of recent blockades and hartals.
On the other hand, Baghabari urea fertiliser syndicate was active in smuggling urea fertiliser, local dealers, sub-dealers and retail shopkeepers alleged, adding that the syndicate was storing urea in Baghabari river port instead of in their respective godowns.
Locals alleged that the agricultural office, local administration, port authority, BCIC and agriculture extension directorate have no surveillance of the anomaly.
Belkuchi upazila Agriculture Extension Officer Sahadat Hossain Siddiq had sealed off the shop of dealer Abdus Salam in front of Belkuchi Degree College, and seized 63 sacks of urea fertiliser on Friday. The dealer was charging Tk170 extra per sack of fertiliser.
Retail seller Saiful at Khukni village of Anaeytpur was found selling urea at higher price. He claimed that he had to buy fertiliser at a higher rate from Vangura instead of the assigned Abdul Hakim of Anna Enterprise.
Sirajganj district Dealer Samity President Md Abdus Samad Talukder and Sahjahadpur upazila fertiliser Dealer Samity president denied the accusation of selling urea fertiliser at black market, saying that they did not get enough supply of urea from the agricultural office
However, Baghabari BCIC Godown-in-Charge Sudeb Bhattacharja said the dealers had already taken the allocated fertiliser – 8,600 tonnes for November, 4,777 tonnes for December – and the processing of taking allocated fertiliser for January was going on.
It was the responsibility of the local administration and agricultural department to oversee where the dealers were taking the fertiliser, he added.
Deputy Commissioner Md Billal Hossain said officials of agricultural department were also given responsibility along with the upazila executive to “strictly” monitor the sale of urea fertiliser in the field level.
The allegations of selling fertiliser at an extra rate by the dealers or smuggling fertiliser would be scrutinised, he added.