New Delhi — Several farmers Cyclone-hit Irrawaddy delta's Bogale Township, said they are forced to reduce the use of fertilizers on their paddy fields to nearly half the quantity they usually used due to sky rocketing prices of fertilizer.
Farmers said they are forced to use only half a bag of fertilizers from what they normally use one bag (50 kgs) for an acre of farmland, as the prices of Urea fertilizers had recently rose by 20 per cent.
"We had to reduce the use of fertilizer because of rising prices. We cannot buy much now," a farmer in Myinkagone village, Bogale Township said.
The farmer, however, said fertilizers are indispensable to produce high yields and that they cannot avoid using them.
A farmer in Thitngotegyi village said that they could not buy fertilizer in bags, but had to buy in retail in Pyi (approx. 2.5 Kg), Burmese measurement.
"Earlier, we bought and stored the fertilizers in bags. Now we only can buy in Pyi," he said.
The prices of 'Pale' (Pearl) Urea fertilizer rose from what is earlier Kyat 28,000 per bag (50 Kg) to Kyat 34,000 per bag, forcing poor farmers to buy them by in lesser quantities. The farmers said they have to purchase the fertilizers in retail in 'Pyi', which cost at Kyat 1,300 per Pyi.
A marketing executive from a Rangoon based 'Myinkyar' (Zebra) fertilizer factory confirm of the rising price of fertilizers saying they are hike as the price of the raw materials to produce the fertilizers have skyrocketed.
"The raw material prices are rising. We mix the raw materials with some necessary chemicals to produce our products," he said.
The raw materials are imported from foreign countries including China and then local producers of fertilizers mix the raw material with other chemicals such as nitrogen and potassium, he added.
The farmers use the fertilizer thrice in each season, the first time during growing seeds, then while replanting the nursery plants and finally 15 days after the second time.
The farmers said they fear the lack of sufficient fertilizers may cause poor yielding when they begin harvest in October.
"I've no idea what quality of paddy we will get after harvest as we cannot use enough fertilizers," the farmer added.