It couldn’t have come at a worse time for the farmers who grow rice in the Mekong Delta.
Right when the growing plants need more food than ever, fertilizer prices are shooting up from what was already a 35-year high set last month.
A month after planting the summer-autumn crop, right when the growing plants need more food than ever, fertilizer prices are shooting up from what was already a 35-year high set last month.
A bag of Chinese DAP is now VND1.2-1.3 million compared to VND1 million just recently, while Chinese nitrogenous fertilizer has gone from VND380,000 to as much as 450,000.
Similarly, the different kinds of Canadian fertilizer commonly used in Viet Nam have increased by 10-30% in a month.
Dr. Le Van Banh, who heads the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute, is worried for the farmers as now is the peak time for fertilizer use in the region. He says the rapidly climbing expense could prove too much of a burden for many of the growers.
In response, the government’s only measure to alleviate the situation is to delay VAT payments on fertilizer imports for nine months rather than the usual six months.
Of course, fertilizer would be cheaper in Viet Nam if more of it was made here but a lack of capital impedes attempts to produce more plant food domestically.
The Vietnam Fertilizer Association says the government should take the bull by the horns and order banks to lend the money for expanding fertilizer production on a massive scale.
Furthermore, it should freeze coal exports from July 1 so that Viet Nam’s few existing fertilizer producers can get enough coal for their needs without paying too high a price.