Anyone who tries to increase fertilizer price ahead of the Boro season will be punished through mobile courts, Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzaque said on Tuesday.
He said there is enough fertilizer in stock for the upcoming Boro season, the biggest of the rice cultivating seasons of the country.
The minister made the remarks after reviewing the overall situation of fertilizer in the conference room of the Ministry of Agriculture.
"The Boro season is coming up. Fertilizers are most needed at this time. We have made all kinds of preparations with that in mind. Considering the amount of fertilizer we have in stock and in the pipeline, there will be no shortage of it," said Razzaque.
According to information disclosed by the minister, the demand for urea fertilizer in the country in December was recorded at nearly 3.2 lakh tonnes, while the current stock is 8.32 tonnes.
Also, the demand for other fertilizers such as TSP in December was recorded at 1.14 lakh tonnes, while the current stock of TSP is 1.92 lakh tonnes. In addition, there is a stock of .96 lakh tonnes of DAP fertilizer against a demand of 2.89 tonnes, and a stock of 3.12 lakh tonnes of MOP fertilizer against a demand of 1.29 lakh tonnes.
Besides, the current stock of all types of fertilizers is higher than in the same period last year.
The price of fertilizer in the international market has risen abnormally in recent times, said Razzaque adding that the price per tonne of fertilizer rose from $300 to $964.
"International syndicates are exploiting countries like ours by raising prices. Meanwhile, opportunistic traders in the country are spreading rumours and trying to increase the price of fertilizers in isolated areas. We are strictly monitoring it, field-level officials are active," he added.
The agriculture minister said immediate action would be taken against any dealers, traders and shopkeepers who would sell fertilizers at higher prices by spreading rumours and creating an artificial crisis.
"For the time being, the mobile court will be operated continuously for 30 days. After reviewing the situation, mobile courts will be conducted throughout the Boro season if necessary," he said.
Meanwhile, Kamrul Ashraf Khan, chairman of the Bangladesh Fertilizer Association, said there had been some problems in transporting fertilizers in the last few days, but that has been solved.
"If any dealer charges more for the price of fertilizer, his membership will be cancelled," he said.