Hundreds of farmers demonstrated in front of a fertiliser dealer’s shop and confined him by blockading the Lalmonirhat-Mogholhat road on Friday, while others demonstrated at Hatibandha and blockaded the Lalmonirhat- Burimari Highway in Lalmonirhat yesterday protesting the unexpected price hike of fertilisers.
Farmers alleged that the dealers suddenly increased the price of fertilisers by saying that they do not have enough stock as vehicles cannot move because of the countrywide blockades.
Retailers claimed that they sell the products at a high price as they had to buy the products at high prices, while dealers claimed that they had to increase the price of fertilisers as they do not get enough supply as transport facilities are not available due to countrywide blockades.
But the assistant director of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) of Lalmonirhat said there is no fertilizer crisis in Lalmonirhat as there are at least 6,500 metric tonnes of MOP, DAP and TSP fertilisers in the buffer store house.
Farmers said they are now frustrated as they have been purchasing different fertilisers at high rates that are double than the government fixed rates in the local markets in Lalmonirhat.
Now per kg urea has been selling at Tk26 to Tk28 while the government fixed rate is Tk14; per kg MOP has been selling at Tk24 to Tk26, per Kg DAP at Tk48 to Tk50 and per kg TSP has been selling at Tk35 to Tk40 while the government rate for the products are respectively Tk13, Tk25 and Tk20 in the local markets.
Haider Ali, 38, a farmer from Durakuti village of Lalmonirhat sadar, said he purchased per kg urea at Tk29, TSP at Tk40 and DAP at Tk50 from Bogdadi traders last week.
He also said, “I purchased fertilisers at high rate as the dealer Rafiqul Islam created artificial crisis.”
Another farmer Mantaz Ali from Karnapur village in Lalmonirhat sadar, said: “I purchased fertilisers at double rate from a local fertiliser trader Bhola Miah at Mogholhat Bazar last week.”
He added that “If we try to purchase fertilisers at government fixed rate, traders denied to sell the products.”
Bhola Miah, a retailer at Mogholhat Bazar in Lalmonirhat sadar, said as a retailer, he had to sell the products at high prices because he had to purchase the fertilisers from the dealers at high rates.
Rafiqul Islam, a dealer at Durakuti Bazar in Lalmonirhat sadar, whom farmers confined for four hours on Friday, said not only he, but all the dealers are selling fertilisers at high rates as they do not take the allotment from the buffer store room because of lack of transport facility due to the blockades.
But the Assistant Director of Lalmonirhat BADC Abdul Goni said there is no fertiliser crisis in Lalmonirhat as they have enough fertilisers in their stock.
He said a total of 115 dealers in Lalmonirhat are contracted with the government to sell the fertilisers at government fixed rates, and the dealers who increased the prices illegally will be black listed and the black listed dealers will lose their dealerships.