Adulterated fertiliser rampant in Jashore
JASHORE, Oct 18: The production of adulterated fertiliser is rampant in the district.
Croplands are under threat for use of such fertilisers. Soil is losing fertility. Farmers are facing health risks. Rotten moss, stone chip, dynamite power, burnt earth and snail are being used in manufacturing these fertilisers. These are being sent to different districts of the country.
Agriculture officials said they cannot stop it despite supervising regularly. Several factories have been closed by conducting drives at different times. Cases have also been filed against many. But their production is going on secretly.
Jashore Sadar Upazila Agriculture Officer Sheikh Sazzad Hossen said, "I have newly joined here. I have got complaint about adulterated fertiliser. But I have no document. Yet I have asked upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) for conducting mobile court."
He also said, "I will sit with administration. Steps will be taken to stop manufacturing of counterfeit fertilisers. Those who have harmed farmers by selling adulterated fertilisers will not be spared."
Upazila Agriculture Extension Officer Sheikh Md Nurullah said, on the basis of complaint, many factories have been sealed, and cases against many are running. Despite that they are manufacturing fertilisers secretly.
"Our anti-adulteration drive will be conducted soon, and it will be continued," he added.
Sadar Upazila Agriculture Office sources said only three out of 21 fertiliser factories in the upazila are registered. Two of these are Sufala Agro Industries and AR Agro Chemicals.
In different drives, 13 factories were sealed off and their fertilisers and machineries were destroyed. But after 2012, the production of adulterated fertilisers increased. Some of these were not given permission to renew registration. But these are continuing activities.
More than one unscrupulous section are running adulterated fertiliser business managing administration and high officials of the agriculture department by giving bribe. They are using fake labels of foreign and local brand companies.
Superintendent of Police in Jashore Muhammad Ashraf Hossen said, "I am not informed of adulterated fertiliser business in Jashore. None has complained physically. Besides, deputy commissioner (DC) and UNO should know it. If they would know, they would inform me. If proof is found, steps will be taken."
The Department of Agricultural Extension have filed cases against most of the companies producing adulterated fertilisers. Despite that they are manufacturing and marketing those.
These factories are manufacturing fertilisers secretly in date and papaya orchards. Some are producing inside locked factories. The fertilisers are marketed in different areas including Nawapara of Jashore.
Croplands are being damaged following the use of such fertilisers. Many farmers are throwing away the bags of the fertilisers.
A farmer Shukur Ali of Rahmatpur Village in Jashore Sadar Upazila said these adulterated fertilisers cannot be detected in open eye. After applying in land, the crops grow rapidly in one week. Then small snails and ants appear in the field, and soil turns black and spread foul smell. After few days, roots of the crop plants get rotten, and the plants die. Besides, the fertilisers are harmful for human body.
Locals said these adulterated fertilisers are mostly marketed in northern districts including Rangpur and Dinajpur.
A recent visit to Sumi Agro Chemical Industries of one Anwar Hossen Laltu in Ghurulia Saddam Road found two cleaners inside the factory. Asked what are in bags, another employee Kashem said, these are fertiliser manufacturing tools.
Seeking anonymity, a number of fertiliser producers said, "We do the business managing the administration."
In the last eight years, at least 15 factories were sealed off. Except two factories, others were not given permission for renewing registration.
According to sources, in 2009 five factories were sealed and five cases were filed against their owners. In 2010, 11 factories were busted, 11 cases were filed and two were fined.
In 2011, drive was conducted for 11 times, five cases were filed, 4,000 kg of fertiliser was destroyed and factories were fined.
In 2012, drive was conducted in two factories and two cases were filed. But since last year, no noticeable drive has been conducted.