Fertiliser price hike may hamper Aman production in Rajshahi

Published : 13 Aug 2022 07:40 PM

The production cost of Aman paddy may be decreased this year due to insufficient rainfall and the recent rise in price of Urea fertiliser in Rajshahi and elsewhere in the country.  The price of Urea fertiliser has been increased Tk 6.00 per kg from Monday. The retailed price of Urea now stands at Tk 22 per kg instead of Tk 16 earlier. Concerned sources, however, said the increase of price of Urea was as a result of an increased price of the fertiliser in the international markets. Moreover, such an increase will discourage the farmers to use excessive fertiliser in their fields. 

Meanwhile, farmers of Rajshahi district have expressed their worry at the increase of fertiliser price. They suspect, the production cost of Aman paddy would surpass the market or sell price this year due to increased cost of fertiliser, farm-labourers, non-availability of rain water and other related costs.

Aminul Islam, a paddy farmer of Bijoynagar village under Godagari upazila informed, for the production of Aman paddy in one bigha of land it costs Tk 15,000 to 17,000 in total covering the cultivation and preparing of the land, purchasing and transplanting of seedlings, taking care of the plants, irrigation, applying of fertilisers and harvesting. But at best 16 to 18 maunds of paddy may be produced in a bigha of land. Of the produced paddy, three to four maunds of paddy are paid to the labourers as wages. As a result, he would get 14 to 15 maunds of paddy from a bigha of land. By estimating the price of Paddy Tk 1,000 per maund, he would incur a loss of Tk 2,000 to 3,000 by selling per maunds of paddy. 

Abdul Wahed, a farmer of Talanda village under Tanore upazila informed, it usually costs Tk 4,000 for applying Urea fertilier only in a bigha of land for Aman cultivation. The increased price of Urea would cost him nearly Tk 1,000 more.

Hanif Sheikh of village Nandangachhi under Puthia upazila informed it requires 80 to 90 kgs of Urea, 40 kgs of Potash, 35 kgs of TSP, four kgs of Zink and 2 kgs of Sulphur and insecticides worth Tk 4,200 and the irrigation cost ( if required if rainfall is meagre)  totalling Tk 38,000 to 40,000 for the cultivation and production of Aman paddy in an acre of land. Usually, 40 to 35 maunds of Aman paddy is produced in an acre of land. As a result, most of the money is spent for the production of the paddy and often the farmers have to incur loss if the market price remained low. An increased Urea price would drag the farmers into further misery, he added. 

Shamsun Naher, Upazila Agriculture Extension Officer of Puthia informed, the price of hike of Urea ferliser is unlikely to affect the farmers because usually farmers apply more Urea and other fertilisers in their land than the requirement. She said, such a tendency of applying more fertiliser than the requirement is losing the fertility of the land. The price hike of Urea is also not illogical because in compared to the international market price, the fertiliser is supplied to the farmers of the country at a subsidised rate. 

Agriculture Extension Department (DAE) sources in Rajshahi informed, the DAE has fixed a target of producing more nearly 9.5 lakh tonnes of Aman paddy from cultivating 3.4 lakh hectares of land in Rajshahi region ( Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainwabganj and Natore districts).  

Mozdar Hossain, Deputy Director of DAE, Rajshahi, informed he was busy in attending a meeting and mentioned farmers are habituated with such situation (increase of prices). He further said, it is a natural tendency of the farmers to use excessive Urea (fertilisers) in their fields. Often the farmers are made aware through various programmes to use minimum amount of fertilisers in their fields but often farmers ignore that and use excessive amount of fertilisers in their fields. As a result, such an increase of Urea price would decrease the tendency of using more fertiliser in their fields than the necessity. There was sufficient supply of fertilisers in the district and there is no crisis of any sort of fertiliser in the district, he added.