BHUBANESWAR: Stating that lack of required number of railway rake points is a major stumbling block for timely supply of required quantity of fertilisers to farmers, especially during the peak period, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday requested the Centre to open three new rake points and develop infrastructure in the existing ones for smooth supply of agri-products in the State.
In a letter to Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar, the Chief Minister said Odisha required sufficient number of railway rake points to ensure smooth supply of fertilisers to various places in the State.
The State Government has proposed establishment of three new rake points at Bamur in Angul, Rengali in Sambalpur and Dunguripalli in Sonepur and provision of two rake points in six places.
The Chief Minister said the State is facing operational difficulties in the existing 21 rake points due to inadequate infrastructure. “Odisha uses only 60 kg of fertiliser per hectare (ha) agricultural land against national average of 160 kg per ha,” he said. A target has been set to increase fertiliser consumption to 90 km per ha during next five years.
Naveen said with coverage under high yielding and hybrid varieties increasing in the State, there is a need for enhancing the consumption level of fertilisers, both chemical and organic, to ensure sustainable crop production and high productivity.
The State Government has taken several steps, including provision of corpus funds for Odisha State Cooperative Marketing Federation (MARKFED) and Odisha Agro Industries Corporation (OAIC) for pre-positioning of fertilisers. Besides, steps have been taken for construction of godowns at primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) level, he said.
“All such steps will require handling of a huge quantity of different chemical fertilisers at various points in Odisha since these are made available to the State at present from factories located at far off places in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and also through ports, mostly in AP,” he added.