More than 20 thousand tonnes of imported chemical fertilisers are now kept under the open sky on the bank of the Jamuna River at Nagarbari port under the district due to lack of room in the buffer depots in northern districts.
A good amount of imported fertilisers have also been kept on the premises of Baghabari port for the last few weeks due to the same reason.
Huge non-urea fertilisers are imported from different countries to meet the demand for the boro season and importing agencies give 'sub contract' to carry fertilisers to different areas in northern districts.
“We started carrying fertiliser from the seaports early November. But more than 20 thousand tonnes (4 lakh bags) of fertilisers are now kept at Nagarbari and Baghabari ports beside the Jamuna River due to lack of room in 14 buffer stocks in northern districts,” Dulal Chandra Das, owner of Janani Transport, a carrying agency, said.
"Of around eight lakh tonnes of fertiliser targeted for 16 northern districts for the upcoming boro season, at least 1.8 lakh tonnes will come within December this year," he added.
"The 14 depots with capacity to store two lakh tonnes of fertiliser are already overloaded as dealers did not receive fertiliser according to target in October and November this year due to its poor demand. The demand will increase from mid December for cultivation of winter crops including boro," said Anis Uddin, general manager of the regional buffer depots, also an official of Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation.
Rain, moisture and wind decrease the quality of chemical fertilisers if it is kept under the open sky for long, said agriculturist Zafar Sadek.
“A portion of the staked chemical fertiliser has solidified in bags due to its keeping under the open sky for long. Farmers often show unwillingness to take such items,” said Idris Ali Bishwas, president of Pabna district unit of Bangladesh Fertiliser Association.
“Around nine lakh tonnes of chemical fertiliser is needed for food crop production in 16 northern districts each season but the 14 depots in this region are too inadequate for storing the fertiliser. We have submitted many applications and talked personally with a few government high-ups to set up a permanent a buffer stock at Nagarbari, the most important port for fertiliser dealing in northern districts, but to no effect,” he added.
Visiting Nagarbari and Baghabari ports areas during the last two days, this correspondent saw huge fertiliser stacked under the open sky.
Ishhaque Ali Sheikh, a contractor of labours working at Nagarbari port, however, claimed that quality of the fertiliser will not be lost as it is covered with tarpaulin for protection from rain and moisture.
Enough security guards have also been appointed for safety of the fertiliser, he said.