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Problems galore affecting Aman cultivation

Published : 31 Aug 2022 10:11 PM

Due to lack of rain in the current planting season, irrigation cost has almost doubled compared to that last season. 

On the other hand, Aman farmers are in trouble due to manipulation of fertilizers. 

Besides, there is an increase in the price of diesel, as a result of which Aman’s irrigation cost has also increased. 

Farmers are worried about how to farm in the coming days. Many farmers fear that vegetable crops may be under threat in the current season and the upcoming winter season.  

As there is no rain, farmers are largely depending on the salo machine for irrigation. In many parts of the country farmers have started planting aman with irrigation water. But right at that time, the high price of diesel and fertilizer has been an extra burden for them. 

Meanwhile, about the high price of fertilizer, agriculture minister Dr. Abdur Razzque said there is a failure of the administration behind the high price of fertilizer at the consumer level. However, the dealer's license can be revoked along with other punishment if an artificial crisis of fertilizers is created despite having sufficient stock. 

Due to the manipulation allegation, 383 mobile courts have been conducted across the country in the month of August. Through this, due to various irregularities Tk 57.68 lakh fine has been collected. 

Along with Aman cultivation, there is more concern among winter vegetable growers as that season is completely dependent on irrigation. Due to the increase in the price of fertilizer and diesel, the farmers feel that the cost of vegetable cultivation will increase several times. 

According to our district correspondents, farmers at Jashore said that due to the increase in the price of fertilizers and diesel, the cost of cultivation has also increased. Again due to lack of rain, drought is occurring in the land. Hence, Aman farming has become very challenging this time. High price of fertilizer and fuel will increase the production cost which may not be collected from their sale. 

On August 28, the Food Minister exchanged views with dealers of OMS and fertilizer dealers of BADC and BCIC at Naogaon Sadar Upazila Parishad auditorium. During that time, he said, in fact, the country has a sufficient stock of fertilizers. No one will be spared if there is unnecessary unrest over fertilizers. 

Fertilizer production cost and import price is very high. However, the government sells subsidized fertilizers through distributors or dealers. There is no opportunity to charge more than the fixed price anywhere. 

However, our correspondents’ information showed that a sack of 50 kg of urea fertilizer has a maximum retail price of Tk 1100 fixed by the government, which is being sold at Tk 1250 to Tk 1300 more. And 750 Tk MOP fertilizer has to be bought at Tk 1200 to Tk 1300.  

The Ministry of Agriculture has opened a control room to monitor the fertilizer situation in the country. It will keep working from August 28 until further notice.

Till August 25, the stock of urea fertilizer was 6.56 lakh tonnes, TSP 3.94 lakh tonnes, DAP 8.23 lakh tonnes, MOP 2.73 lakh tonnes. Against the current stock of fertilizers, the demand for fertilizers in the Amon season (from August to October) is 6.19 lakh tonnes of urea, 1.19 lakh tonnes of TSP, 2.25 lakh tonnes of DAP, 1.37 lakh tonnes of MOP. The current stock of fertilizers is higher than the same period last year. 

On August 1, the government increased the price of urea fertilizer by Tk 6 per kg. Then on August 5, the price of diesel was increased to Tk 114 per liter. Farmers said that this has increased their production cost. 

Analysts said that the increase in production costs may have an impact on the current Aman season. Out of the 3.5 million tonnes of rice produced in the country annually, about 1.3 million tonnes are grown in the Aman season. If the yield is not good in this season, the import dependence of rice will increase. The price will also increase. 

In this regard, food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said, “Adverse weather conditions may result in less production of Aman. That is why we are importing rice from abroad as a precaution. In the meantime, we have reduced the 10 percent regulatory tax on private rice imports.”