KUALA LUMPUR, 18 March 2009: The government cannot force local fertiliser manufacturers to reduce the price of the commodity despite the drop in the price of petroleum and urea this year, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.
He said the ministry had regular meetings with the fertiliser companies to urge them to reduce the price of the commodity to a reasonable level in line with the prices of petroleum and urea.
“The government is concerned about the substantial rise in the price of fertilisers last year which was linked to the steep rise in the prices of petroleum or urea, pushing up the price of fertiliser by about a hundred percent,” he told the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
He said this when replying to Datuk Siringan Gubat (BN-Ranau) who wanted to know the measures taken by the government to reduce the price of fertilisers so that smallholders could enjoy better income.
Mustapa said the higher cost of raw materials had forced the local fertiliser companies to raise prices besides the rising price of the commodity in the international market.
He said local fertiliser companies produced about 40% of the local needs while the rest were imported from Egypt, Jordan, Canada and Russia. — Bernama