Pakistan has an agriculture-based economy mostly dependent on the cotton and wheat crops. Wheat is the most important crop because we have to feed a population of 170 million people. In the last couple of years, we have witnessed long queues of people outside the Utility Stores clamouring for atta made from wheat. Fortunately, this year we have had good wheat crop due to timely rains. But the farmers are facing a lot of difficulties in purchasing urea fertilizer. The dealers are black marketing this type of fertilizer by selling it at the rate of Rs 1200/ bag. But even this 'special offer' is only for the near and dear ones of the dealers. The rest of the farmers are deprived of even fertilizer at this rate. The farmers are naturally fearful of losing out on their per acre yield because of lack of proper fertilizer administration at the proper time - a distinct possibility due to the unavailability of urea fertilizer at present. The government has launched a special scheme to sell urea fertilizer at all Utility Stores at the distract level. But the scheme is not delivering the goods in demand effectively due to vested interests of certain people.-MUHAMMAD TARIQ MUREED, Islamabad, via e-mail, February 10.