- Says total of 150,000 metric tons will be imported from China with first consignment of 50,000 arriving next month
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Thursday that the country’s farmers would not face a urea shortage as the government would import a total of 150,000 metric tons from China with one-third arriving on an urgent basis next month.
“The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved the (total) import of 150,000 metric tons of urea from China,” Fawad said via his Twitter handle.
The minister informed that the first ship carrying 50,000 metric tons of urea will arrive on February 10. “From January onwards, 600,000 metric tons of local urea will also start arriving in the market,” he said.
Fawad added that despite the high prices of urea in the global market, “our farmers will not face a shortage of the commodity”.
The development comes as ECC, after deliberation, allowed import of 50,000 metric tons urea on government-to-government basis from China on an immediate basis on Wednesday. The import is subject to clearance from the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA).
The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) was also tasked to negotiate price with Chinese suppliers authorised by the government of China for further import of urea.
Meanwhile, Business Recorder reported that the high urea and DAP prices coupled with shortage is likely to have serious negative impact on agricultural growth as the country could miss the Rabi crops production targets especially, wheat production target set at 28.9 million tons, informed relevant officials and agriculturalist.
They said increase in the prices of urea and the DAP fertilizer will set aside all the positive impacts of the Rabi crops especially wheat; however, they maintained that the current spell of rain will have a positive impact on the crops grown in the arid areas of the country
Earlier, Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal had said that the fear of shortage of urea fertilizer has led to panic buying and a higher demand than the actual requirement. The federal industries department has been requested to increase the supply and the situation in this regard would improve soon, he said.
Afzal said that the transportation of fertilizers is being monitored through an online portal. He maintained that the effective administrative measures have helped end the smuggling of fertilizers. He said that he went to DG Khan and inspected the provincial border check-posts to review the arrangements to curb smuggling.