Dhaka, March 23
100,000 metric tons of fertilizer smuggled into Burma from Bangladesh this year
100,000 metric tons of Bangladeshi made fertilizers were smuggled to Burma from Bangladesh by local smuggling syndicates within last two and half months, said a report of the Bangali newspaper, The Jugantor on 16 March.
Bangladeshi farmers are now suffering from shortages of fertilizers because of the mass amounts smuggled from their country this last year.
According to sources, the fertilizer smuggled to Burma is done by water way and there are a number of Bangladeshi fertilizer agents involved in the smuggling business.
The Bangladeshi government now has instructions from the Bangladeshi Embassy in Rangoon to discuss the situation with the concerned authority of Burma to facilitate the end of the fertilizers being smuggled into Burma from Bangladesh.
On 14 March, Bangladesh local administers complained to the ministries of Home, Commerce and Foreign about the recent smuggling to Burma and the subsequent shortage of fertilizers in the country, said the report.
This year the agriculture ministry of Bangladesh collected 2.6 million metric ton of fertilizers for domestic demand but .3 million metric tons of fertilizers were imported from abroad.
In Bangladesh, the cost of production for one ton of fertilizer is Taka 5500, but the Bangladesh government sells one ton of fertilizer to farmers at a retail price of Taka 4800. Furthermore, Bangladesh is forced to import foreign fertilizers for 20,000 Taka, but the government sells one ton of fertilizer to farmers for only 4800 Taka.
The smugglers use the opportunity of the fertilizers being sold at reduced prices by the government, to smuggle them into Burma and get a triple profit.
One bag of fertilizer is sold to farmers by the government for only 250 or 300 Taka in Bangladesh (equivalent to about 3750 Burmese Kyat), where that bag of fertilizer in Burma is currently worth about 10,000 Burmese Kyat.
In the last 2 months, the Bangladeshi Navy seized 13,300 bags of fertilizers, worth 160 million Taka, and 32 smugglers were arrested, while patrolling in the Bangladesh water, said the report. #
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