JIS News

Come next week, farmers across the island will see a 10 per cent reduction in the price of all grades of fertilizer, including special blends, as the $70 million fertilizer subsidy allocated by Government, will be disbursed to fertilizer manufacturer, Newport Fersan.
This disclosure was made by Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton on (Jan. 16), at a meeting of key players in the fertilizer industry at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens headquarters.
General Manager of Newport Fersan, John Allen, explained that the organization will deduct 10 per cent of the cost of the fertilizer before the commodity leaves the company, which would ensure that distributors will only pay 90 per cent of the market value of the product.
“What we have been doing in the last week or so is to sit down with the Ministry to work out a programme in which we will be deducting that 10 per cent from the ex-factory price, so the distributors will buy the goods at 90 per cent of the ex-factory price,” he reiterated.
Additionally he noted, “the $70 million will be applied to what we think will be about 12,000 tonnes of fertilizer based on the current prices and the projected prices for March.” Mr. Allen said that based on buying patterns over the years, the 12,000 tonnes of fertilizer should last until March.
“We are not at this time segregating any particular group. Everybody will benefit from this 10 per cent discount in price for all the grades,” he said, noting that a new price list will be distributed to all retailers across the island.
In order to prevent hoarding of the product and a run on the plant, the General Manager said that the credit limits, which were previously imposed on retailers based on trading relationships, will be kept intact. This move, he noted, is necessary as “we wouldn’t want to see one sector running away with the benefit while some of the other sectors are at a disadvantage.”
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will conduct an inventory of the stock that is currently available for sale by retailers and based on this assessment, Newport Fersan will apply a credit note against the funds that were issued by the Ministry.
This would allow the retailer to sell the product to consumers at the discounted price. Fertilizer, which is currently in high demand by farmers presently retails for between $2,200 and $2,600 per bag.

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