“Whatever ship you make arrangement with, must fit in to that time, so it’s not like they have the fertilizer whenever your ship arrives; your ship has to arrive when they are ready,” the minister explained during a recent interview.
The next shipping day is September 23-24 and the ministry was able to put in place a tentative agreement with a shipping company to have a boat at the facility on those days. As a result of this fertiliser deal, farmers will be able to get the fertiliser they need at a cost that is significantly below what they are paying now.
Rice farmers, depending on where they are located, currently pay between $7,000 and $10,000 for a 48 - kilogramme bag of urea. Minister Ramsammy posited that, “we are making arrangements for the farmers to get a bag of fertiliser at a cost that is maximum $5,000 so that they will save.”
At the moment, the country’s rice farmers require about 20,000 tonnes of fertiliser, which means that this first shipment will make available 25 percent of their needs. This, the minister said, will ensure that the needs of small farmers are met, while at the same time meeting a portion of the needs of the larger farmers.