Hoarders pocketing Rs130b from farmers by black marketing urea: SAB

HYDERABAD-The Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB) a group lobbying for the rights of the agriculturists, has urged the government to curb the black marketing of fertilizer which is not only increasing the cost of cultivation for the farmers but is also contributing to the food price inflation. At a press conference at Hyderabad Press Club here on Tuesday the board’s President Mahmood Nawaz Shah expressed hope that the agriculture sector was expected to add up to $5 billion to the country’s economy in the ongoing fiscal year. Yet, he lamented, the growers continued to face a host of problems and obstacles which made their business less attractive. He briefed that a bag of urea was being sold at Rs 1,700 in the year 2021 but its current price had skyrocketed over threefold to Rs 5,200. Likewise, he added, the price of a DAP bag used to be Rs 4,700 in 2021 but its rate had also been increased more than 3 times to Rs 14,500.
“This hoarding practice of the urea alone is costing Rs130 billion to the growers,” he claimed.
He reiterated that such unbridled price manipulation was not only burdening the farmers but the public which was already reeling from unprecedented inflation was also denied a respite in the food prices.
The board’s President urged the fertilizer manufacturing companies and their dealers were also legally and morally bound to demand a fair price for their products. He, however, deplored that the urea continued to be unavailable for the farmers at the rates fixed by the companies themselves. He said that it had been over a year since the SAB took up the issue of fertilizer black marketing with the concerned authorities but so far no meaningful action had been taken.
Dr Zulfiqar Yousfani, Syed Nadeem Shah, Irfan Khan Jatoi and other office bearers of the SAB were present on the occasion.

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