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Sri lanka News – Sri Lanka is calling tenders to import fertilizer with World Bank finance for the Maha season again after the first tender failed amid banking sector concerns and procurement rules, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

After a tender for 150,000 metric tonnes only a contract worth 12,500MT was awarded, he said.

The government has found 110 million US dollars from the World Bank to import fertilizer, amid fertilizer shortages.

Three companies responded to the tender but only one was willing to comply with procurement guidelines of the World Bank such as bond and there were concerns over the confidence of banks internationally, he said.

“There is a problem of confidence over our banks internationally,” Minister Gunewardena said.

“This is an international tender. So these foreign companies have to be willing to bid.”

The cabinet had given the nod to re-tender the contract and the government is now seeking 125,000 MT of urea fertilizer he said.

“We are using e-tender to speed up the process,” he said. “I was informed yesterday that 10 companies have responded already. So I expect to conclude this tender successfully.”

The fertilizer is vital for the Maha cultivation season

The fertilizer is expected to be imported by state-run companies.

Private firms were also being encouraged to import fertilizer, he said.

The government is giving fertilizer for rice cultivation at 10,000 rupee per tonne and is planning to also give fertilizer for maize at 15,000 rupees a tonne.

The open market price is around 40,000 rupees, he said, but the price is may fall as state distribution takes place he said. (Colombo/Aug26/2022)

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