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Fact-check: Are fertilizers being sold at an inflated price to farmers?

Fact-check: Are fertilizers being sold at an inflated price to farmers?

طوبیٰ Tooba 8 months ago 0 1

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Online posts allege that phosphate-based fertilizers, used by farmers in Pakistan to increase agricultural productivity, are being sold in the open market at double the prices set by the federal government.

The claim is false.

Table of Contents

Claim

A Facebook user wrote on October 19 that the wheat sowing season was to begin soon in the country, yet Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilizer is being sold for Rs14,000 in the market, when the government rate is Rs7,800, and urea was being traded for Rs5,000, when the government rate was Rs2,150.

“Farmers are upset,” the post stated, further appealing to the caretaker prime minister, “Please have mercy on us farmers and ensure the government rate is implemented so poor farmers get relief.”

Fact-check: Are fertilizers being sold at an inflated price to farmers?

The post had been shared over 980 times and liked over 500 times, at the time of writing.

A similar claim was uploaded here as well.

This post was shared over 400 times and liked nearly 1,000 times.

Fact

Officials in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told Geo Fact Check that the prices set by the central government for both Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) and urea are not as low as claimed online.

Imran Mehsud, the deputy director of the agriculture department in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told Geo Fact Check over the phone that the price for a bag of 50 kg of DAP was Rs13,000, not Rs7,800.

While the official price for a 50 kg bag of urea was between Rs3,600 to Rs4,200, not Rs2,150 as being alleged on social media.

Geo Fact Check then also reached out to Al Hafeez ZA Traders’ in Dera Ismail Khan, which sold both DAP and urea to farmers, to further verify the government-authorised prices for both fertilizers. The shop confirmed that the prices mentioned by Mehsud were correct.

In Sindh, Rasool Bakhsh Junejo, the director of an extension of the agriculture department in Sukkur, also told Geo Fact Check over the phone that the price tags circulating online were “incorrect”.

He said that the government-sanctioned price for DAP was Rs12,400 and Rs3,700 for urea in the province.

Over in Punjab, Yousaf Rehman, the deputy director for agriculture in Rahim Yar Khan, told Geo Fact Check over the phone that there are three to four different brands of DAP available in the market, and each company sold their product at a different rate.

He said the price of a bag of 50 kg of DAP ranged from Rs12,664 to Rs13,852 and urea was being sold for Rs3,726.

Meanwhile, these prices were further confirmed by the interim caretaker minister for commerce and industries, who told the Senate on November 7 that the federal government had fixed the price of DAP at Rs12,054 and urea at Rs3,696.

The prices set by the government for agriculture fertilizers in September. Data provided to the Senate on November 7 by the caretaker minister for commerce.
The prices set by the government for agriculture fertilizers in September. Data provided to the Senate on November 7 by the caretaker minister for commerce.

With additional reporting by Muhammad Binyameen Iqbal.

Follow us on @GeoFactCheck. If our readers detect any errors, we encourage them to contact us at [email protected]



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