PESHAWAR, March 15: Despite permission by the Civil Secretariat of Fata, the political administration is continuing with the ban on transportation of all type of fertilisers to Kurram Agency adversely affecting Rabi (winter) crops, say farmers.

Supply of fertilisers has been suspended over the reports that chemical substances are used in preparation of improvised explosive devices in Fata and across the border.

Some fertilisers, containing nitrogen, could be used in explosive devices.

The Afghan government and Nato forces in Afghanistan had serious reservations about the smuggling of fertilisers to the country from Pakistan.

A senior official in the department of law and order for Fata told Dawn on Friday that standard operating procedures had been issued to political administration for carrying fertilisers to Kurram Agency.

He said formula for distribution of fertilisers among local farmers had been devised and political authorities were directed to allow transportation of fertilisers to the area.

“SOPs are already issued to the political agent and he is supposed to allow import of urea immediately,” he said.

A local dealer said around 3,000 bags of urea had been issued for winter crops in upper subdivision of Kurram Agency against the estimated requirements of 60,000 bags (each bag contains 50 kilogrammes urea).

They said a few months ago, the authorities had placed a complete ban on import of all type of fertilisers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the tribal agency negatively impacting on crops, especially that of wheat.

One dealer said by telephone from Parachinar that ammonium nitrate and diammonium phosphate were already banned and then supply of urea was stopped.

He said the political administration did not issue permits for transportation of fertilisers from settled area to Kurram Agency.

Ijaz Hussain, a local farmer, said unavailability of urea in the market could affect winter crops yield. He said farmers applied urea to certain crops especially wheat in February and March.

“Crops yield will affect drastically without urea,” he said.

Like Bajaur Agency, Kurram Agency, too, has agro-based economy where variety of crops, vegetables and fruits are grown.

The sources said the government had placed restrictions on transportation to the tribal agency. There are 46 authorised dealers in Kurram Agency majority of them based in Parachinar, the administrative headquarters.

The sources said the Civil Secretariat on the directives of Corps Headquarters in Peshawar put ban on the transportation of fertilisers which contained nitrogen to some tribal agencies including North Waziristan, because of its use in IEDs.

They said supply of all types of fertilisers to troubled Khyber Agency had been restricted completely. In addition areas of Orakzai and Kurram agencies which are adjacent to Khyber have been included in the list where fertilisers would not be used for any purpose.

Lower and upper subdivisions of Kurram have been exempted from the ban, while its central sub division is attached with Khyber Agency. Interestingly, fertilisers are available in Kohat and Hangu districts.

To fulfill requirements of local farmers in Kurram Valley, the sources said a mechanism for distribution of fertilisers was chalked out to avoid its misuse. According to the formula, the local administration will nominate dealers for bringing urea to the agency and that a committee comprising assistant political agent, officers of the Frontier Corps, tehsildar, dealers and elders is to monitor sale and purchase of urea and other fertilisers.

Officials said dealers would register names and number of computerised national identity cards of farmers before selling of fertilisers and political administration would send its report to the Civil Secretariat.

Updated Mar 15, 2013 10:26pm

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