Nizami imported arms instead of fertilizer: Matia Chowdhury




Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury today said Matiur Rahman Nizami imported arms instead of fertilizer as industries minister during the tenure of the BNP-Jamaat government (2001-2006). "Nizami was shifted to industries ministry from agriculture ministry and he imported arms instead of fertilizer," said while addressing a protest meeting at Awami League central office on Bangabandhu Avenue. Matia, also, presidium member of the Awami League said the BNP-led government had killed 18 farmers instead of selling fertilizer in 1995, adding, "Farmers went to purchase fertilizer for producing crops not get relief, but the BNP government killed them, because BNP provided permits for its cadres and took decision for exporting fertilizer without survey." Bangladesh Krishak League (BKL) organized the protest meeting in observance of the 'farmer killing day' with its president Alhaj Motahar Hossain Mollah in the chair. The meeting was also addressed, among others, by Chhobi Biswas, MP, vice president of BKL Jahangir Alam, general secretary Advocate Khandker Shamsul Haque Reza, joint secretary Umme Kulsum Smriti, organizing secretaries Shakhawat Hossain Sweet and Advocate Kazi Rashid. The minister said Begum Khaleda Zia appointed Nizami, who is a Razakar and committed crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971, as agriculture minister after assuming power in 2001. Later, Nizami was shifted to industries ministry and then he imported arms, she said, adding, "Farmers will not be safe under the BNP-Jamaat." "Now Bangladesh does not have to import rice whereas there was an acute deficit of more than 40 lakh tonnes of food grains in the country before Awami League took office," Matia said. She said, "Now our farmers grow enough food grains not only to meet the existing demand but to put up a formidable stock for the future as well." The minister said the government distributed 1.89 crore agriculture cards to farmers across the country without irregularities under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. "With the patronage of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, our agronomists have so far invented high yielding varieties of crops that can grow in adverse climate situations," Matia said. She said Bangladesh achieved food autarky when the Awami League was in power in 1996 but it became a country of food deficit during the tenure of BNP-Jamaat government. "Farmers are happy to buy urea fertilizer at a cheaper rate to produce their high value agriculture crops," the minister added. She said just after assuming power in 2009, the government reduced the price of all chemical fertilizers including urea in the greater interest of the farmers. Price of urea was fixed at Taka 20 per kg, which is cheaper than a bottle of MUM water, she said.