The government will have to spend an additional Tk2,000 crore in subsidy for fertilisers this year, taking the total amount to Tk30,000 crore.
On Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque at a meeting said, "This year the subsidy amount for fertiliser is Tk30,000 of which Tk27,000 crore has already been spent. Fertiliser prices in the international market soared sharply during the pandemic. Moreover, the supply has been affected due to the Russia-Ukraine war, increasing the expenditure."
The agriculture ministry in mid-February announced that the subsidy amount for fertiliser would be Tk28,000 crore due to an increase in prices triggered by Covid-19.
In the FY2020-21, the amount was only Tk7,717 crore.
At Tuesday's meeting, the agriculture minister said potassium was usually imported from Russia, Belarus and Canada. Now, potassium imports from Russia and Belarus had been suspended leaving Canada as the only option, which has led to an increase in price.
Referring to food security, Abdur Razzaque said that global food prices have skyrocketed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, worldwide food price was at its highest in March this year prompting the fear of food insecurity globally, he added.
"We must keep agriculture production uninterrupted and in no way should we become dependent on foreign countries for food. We are working to ensure food security," Abdur Razzaque said.
In the previous coordination meeting, the ministry set the fertiliser demand target at 67 lakh tonnes – 26 lakh tonnes urea, 7 lakh tonnes TSP, 15 lakh tonnes DAP, 7.5 lakh tonnes MOP, 1,41,000 tonnes zinc sulphate and the rest gypsum and boron etc.