Lashing out at a syndicate of BNP leaders-associates for the shrinking fertilizer supply and dwindling crop production, Prime Minister's ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy came down heavily on the 2001-2006 BNP-Jamaat regime for shooting farmers protesting in demand for fertilizer.
"Unable to cultivate due to lack of fertilizer, farmers blocked roads and highways in Satkhira, Narail, Meherpur, Khulna, Rangpur, and Rajshahi with coffins and shrouds. But the BNP government deployed its party hooligans to carry out inhumane torture on ordinary farmers," read an article shared by Joy through his verified tweeter handle, recounting the tenure of the BNP-Jamaat.
"At least 12 farmers were shot dead in different parts of the country including Kurigram and Jamalpur. Boro and IRRI cultivation were greatly hampered in Bangladesh due to lack of fertilizer," added the article posted on the official website of Awami League.
Blaming a syndicate formed by the then Prime Minister of BNP Khaleda Zia's son Tarique and his aides for the fertilizer crisis encountered by village farmers, the article said, "As a result, crop production was reduced and left three to four crores of marginalized farmers starving all day".
"Taking the advantages, BNP men started an imprest system to make the farmers impoverished. Even the BNP miscreants looted hundreds of thousands of sacks of fertilizer from Fenchuganj Fertilizer Factory. A Chhatra Dal leader was killed in an internal conflict over the share of money from the scam," it said.
Juxtaposing the contribution of the Awami League government to solving the crisis, the article said, "However, after the Awami League government came to power, their primary focus was to improve the fortunes of the farmers. From the financial year 2008-09 till now, the government has disbursed incentives of Tk 827.17 crores among 74,54,313 farmers in different agricultural programmes."
"Under the instruction of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina, around Tk 20,000 crores were subsidised in 2021 to provide fertilizers and hybrid seeds to the farmers at affordable prices. Smart cards for agricultural materials assistance have been issued to 2 crores 8 lakh 13 thousand and 46 farmers," the article added.
Praising the current government for ensuring farmers' access to banking, it added, "The Awami League government has provided an opportunity for farmers to open bank accounts only at Tk10. More than 11 million farmers are now availing these bank services. Farmers are now getting loans interest-free and low-interest loans for farming. As a result, the fate of marginal farmers is changing and their next generation is being enlightened with the light of education."