Urea Scarcity in Islamabad Threatens Agriculture and Industry, FPCCI Candidate Warns

Islamabad, Atif Ikram Sheikh, a presidential candidate for the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), expressed deep concern on Sunday over the disappearance of urea from the market. This artificial scarcity poses a significant threat to millions of farmers and could severely impact both agricultural and industrial production in the country.

According to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh, who has previously served as Vice President of FPCCI, Chairman of PVMA, and President of ICCI, highlighted the dire consequences of urea hoarding. He emphasized that such actions, driven by the pursuit of quick profit, are pushing the nation toward a food security crisis. Sheikh stressed the urgent need for accountability for those responsible for creating this crisis.

Sheikh revealed that the artificial scarcity of urea has become a recurring issue, particularly noticeable at the onset of the wheat cultivation season each year. This results in farmers being forced to purchase urea at inflated prices on the black market. The high cost of urea not only affects production but also compels the government to spend substantial foreign exchange on wheat imports to meet demand.

The situation has escalated to the point where farmers across the country are protesting, fearing a significant impact on food security. Sheikh called for decisive action against those perpetuating this crisis, emphasizing the need to curb the exploitation of farmers by distributors and dealers.

Furthermore, Sheikh pointed out the puzzling lack of urea imports despite a decline in local production and a current shortfall of approximately half a million tonnes. With an estimated annual consumption of 6.7 million tonnes, the country's full production capacity is not being utilized, leaving room for intermediaries to exploit the situation.

Sheikh recalled a similar shortage last year due to irregular gas supply to urea plants, which was resolved through expensive imports. He stressed the need to permanently end the black market for fertilizer in Pakistan, advocating for the elimination of arbitrary pricing and smuggling, and the establishment of a balance between demand and supply.

Concluding his statement, Sheikh called for an end to the repetition of past mistakes to protect farmers' rights, improve the agricultural economy, and reduce reliance on wheat imports. He urged for immediate intervention to address and control this urgent problem.

The post Urea Scarcity in Islamabad Threatens Agriculture and Industry, FPCCI Candidate Warns appeared first on Pakistan Business News.