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Pakistan: Farmers decry urea crisis after gas supply to fertilizer units worsens

ANI | Updated: May 02, 2022 10:37 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 2 (ANI): Farmers of Pakistan fear that the urea crisis would be severe this year because of the reduction in the gas supply that has been diverted to help overcome the electricity shortage in the country.
Gas supply to at least two fertilizer manufacturing units in Punjab has been further worsening the compost crisis before the last Rabi season.
The official urea fertiliser rates that farmers pay in Pakistan are very high. Urea fertiliser rate per bag is Rs 1,768 but the farmers had to purchase it for Rs 2,200 to Rs 2,700 per bag, and that too after standing in long queues for hours, reported Dawn.
The struggling farmer had been voicing their concerns about the urea shortage to the ex-Imran Khan-led government as well, however, they had fallen on deaf ears.
The PTI government had been justifying the spike in Urea prices while comparing them with the international prices of Rs 11,000 per bag.

Last year, gas supply to the fertiliser industry had been suspended from June to September, making a dent of 200,000 tonnes in the production of urea compost.
As the 2021-22 Rabi season had started with an inventory of 116,000 tons against the 472,000 tons of the previous year, urea supply and prices had spun out of control impacting the Rabi crop cycle and threatening the coming Kharif.
With less production of compost, farmers are struggling to meet the demand. Moreover, the prices of the compost are also leading to the smuggling of the fertilizer.
The government's inability to address the issue has played havoc on the supply and is causing a severe crisis of one of the most essential agricultural inputs. Pakistan Kissan Ittehad president Khalid Mahmood Khokhar accused the former Minister and said that Imran Khan's government diverted the blame onto the political opposition, as per the media outlet.
The closure of factories earlier than even the last year means a further drop in production and thus widening the demand and supply gap, bemoans Khokhar. (ANI)