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Sunday, March 05, 2006

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HEADLINE
 
Govt to set up buffer warehouse at Baghabari
Fertiliser crisis to go in a week
Jasim Uddin Haroon
3/5/2006
 

          The ongoing fertiliser crisis in the southwestern districts surfaced mainly due to alleged mismanagement by the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) will be resolved within next one week, according to the BCIC and Bangladesh Fertiliser Association (BFA) sources.
The government has also relaxed the existing inter-Upazila distribution system for speedily meeting the demand of the item for the ongoing Boro cultivation.
Earlier, there was a restriction on supply of fertiliser from one Upazila to another.
Sources also claimed that two urea-laden vessels are unloading the same at Chittagong port and more than 100,000 tonnes of urea is in the pipeline for distribution.
Chairman of the BCIC Imam-Uz-Zaman said that the fertliser shortage in some southwestern districts would be over within one week.
"We took timely and effective steps towards resolving the crisis and deputy commissioners (DCs) have been authorised to provide fertiliser from surplus Upazilas to crisis-hit ones", he added.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) sources said that Boro plantation across the country has been completed amid fertiliser crisis in some southwestern districts and 'mini peak season' will begin sometime during March. There will be a steep demand for urea during that period.
BCIC sources said that shut down of Jamuna Fertiliser Factory in Jamalpur having a daily capacity of 1700 tonnes has been affecting urea supply to some extent. They hinted that the plant would be operative from March 8 after necessary overhauling.
In the meantime, the government has tightened the screws on cross- border smuggling of fertiliser, especially to neighbouring Myanmar against the backdrop of the present crisis.
BFA leaders said that farmers of those areas suffered a lot during their peak Boro season due to the at least 10 days' delay in supply.
The association chairman Kafiluddin Ahmed said that the government could not supply urea despite having stocks due mainly to problems relating to lack of transport facilities and navigability in the rivers.
Refuting the allegation of charging additional prices for urea, he said that the retailers sold urea at Tk 300, against the usual price of Tk 290 for compensating the additional transportation costs to remote areas.
Meanwhile, UNB adds: The government has decided to set up a buffer warehouse of fertiliser at Baghabari for smooth supply of the vital agri-input to the farmers in northern districts.
The decision was taken Friday after Commerce Secretary Nurul Amin, BCIC chairman and BIWTC Chairman Shamsur Rahman visited Baghabari, Nagarbari and Kazirhat terminals.
According to the officials, the buffer warehouses at Amin Bazar and Badamtali in the capital would be temporarily shifted to Baghabari to solve the fertiliser crisis.
"Despite sufficient stock of fertiliser, the farmers in northern districts are facing severe crisis mainly due to delay in supply," official sources said.
The fertiliser and diesel-laden ships from Dhaka reach late at Baghabari terminal for lack of navigability in the Jamuna river resulting in disruption of supply.
According to the sources, 200,000 tonnes of fertiliser would be stocked for the northern districts within a month to solve the crisis.
At present, there is a stock of 5,000 tonnes of fertiliser at Baghabari and Kazirhat depots, they said.

 

 
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