KARACHI - The Sindh province likely to face shortage of the fertilizers especially Urea during upcoming Rabi season, growers told The Nation. Just after plantation, the wheat and cotton crops of Rabi season need urea fertilizer during first watering, growers said, adding that fertilizer dealers hoard the commodity to mint money from growers. However, a senior official of Agriculture Department of Sindh government told The Nation that government has planned to take stringent measures to ensure availability of Urea for cotton and rice crops in the province. The department has also proposed enforcement of Section 144 in some districts especially in rice growing areas, to give special powers to police and checking squads to intercepts movements of truck loads of urea and arrest the hoarders. The District Coordination Officers would be assigned task of monitoring the situation to ensure uninterrupted supply of fertilizer to the growers. Furthermore, meeting with the fertilizer companies would be organized to ensure supply of fertilizer, he said. It may be noted here that an agreement for import of 200,000 tons of ureas from Saudi Arabia had already been signed by federal government, while a ship containing 30,000 tons has already reached at port and another containing 23000 tons reached. In addition to that arrangements are being made to distribute urea fertilizer from the warehouses located at different places of the districts, all over the province. These exercises will be supervised by the DCO, DPO and EDO Agriculture Dept and Fertilizer representatives. Senior official said that another agreement for import of 400,000 tons urea is being made with Saudi Government for Rabi season. Besides of the above mentioned steps, the provincial government has also taken various measures to ensure availability of fertilizer in the province. However, to control of sale of sub standard fertilizer and pesticide in the province, Fertilizer and Pesticide Inspector have been notified by the government. Furthermore, two fertilizer testing laboratories have been established at Tando Jam and Mirpurkhas, while for pesticide three laboratories at Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Rohri. To curb adulteration and proper monitoring target has to be assigned to each district. After receiving results from laboratories if the fertilizer or pesticide sample was found sub standard immediate steps are being taken by Pesticide/Fertilizer Inspector to challan the case against accused in the court of law. For control of price, DCOs, EDOs and DO Revenue are monitoring/checking the price. The fertilizers companies are also opening sale from own warehouses and also establishing sale points. However, the price hike is mainly due to increase in price in international market, he said.