A farmer sprays urea on his aman field at Azimpur village in Biral upazila under Dinajpur district. Like many others, he had to purchase the input for higher than the government fixed price as it is peak cultivation season. PHOTO: STAR
Fertiliser dealers in Dinajpur and Kurigram districts are allegedly charging higher than the government rate for urea during the peak aman cultivation season.
The government fixed Tk 800 for each 50kg urea bag but farmers in 12 upazilas of Dinajpur have to pay additional Tk 80 to 120 for each bag, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.
This year the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target to bring 2.5 lakh hectares of land in Dinajpur district under aman farming.
The target is likely to exceed when the aman seedling sowing ends in mid September, DAE officials said, adding that they appointed 163 fertiliser dealers for smooth supply of urea to the farmers across the district.
But farmers in different upazilas of the district alleged that dealers are charging extra money for the fertiliser.
"I purchased 15kg of urea from Katla Bazar on Saturday, which cost me Tk 300. But the actual price should be Tk 240," said Md Abdus Sattar, a farmer of Daudpur village under Katla union of Birampur upazila of Dinajpur.
Rawshan Parvez, another farmer of the same village, said the dealers charged him Tk 920 for a bag of urea.
"As I wanted to know the reason for charging high price, they said urea supply shortfall in the upazila and transport cost added to the price," he said.
The dealers do not give vouchers for the additional charge, alleged the farmers.
Md Mozammel Haque, a urea dealer of Chirirbandar upazila in Dinajpur, refuted the allegation of taking additional charge.
He, however, said some sub-dealers in rural areas are allegedly charging extra money for their transport expense.
Md Abdul Hannan, deputy director of DAE in Dinajpur, said, "There is no reason for urea shortage in the district this season. Officials are strongly monitoring the distribution and marketing of the fertiliser in the district. It has to be sold as per the government's fixed rate."
Our Kurigram Correspondent reports: Farmers in the district have to buy urea for additional prices.
Earlier this season, farmers had to irrigate their lands to cultivate T-aman paddy as there was much less than usual rain. Following rainfall during the last few days, farmers are now busy to put in the land.
"I bought a 50kg bag of urea for Tk 800 some days ago, now it has to be bought for Tk 900," said Zaman, 52, a farmer of Panthapara village of Omar Majid union under Rajarhat upazila.
Fertiliser trader Bimal Chandra of Kathalbari Bazar in Kurigram Sadar upazila said, “We are getting two to five kg less in per 50kg bag of urea. And so, we are selling urea at Tk 18 per kg to adjust the cost.”
Golam Mostafa, general secretary of the district fertiliser dealers' association, said, “There is enough stock of urea in the district. But the bags of the imported urea from China contain less than the stipulated weight. So, the retail traders sell it for a bit higher prices.”
Local DAE officials said dealers have already received 60 per cent of the 6,335 tonnes of urea allocated for the district for the running month.
Protip Kumer Mondal, deputy director of DAE in the district, said, “We will take action if anyone takes extra charge for urea.”