BHUBANESWAR: As the State Government agencies have failed to meet the fertiliser demands of the farmers, private traders have jacked up prices of popular varieties of fertilisers. While scarcity of fertilisers has been reported from some parts of the State, sources in the Agriculture Department attributed the shortage to spurt in demand after good spell of rains across Odisha.Drawing the attention of the State Government to the artificial scarcity of fertilisers, State unit president of Samajwadi Party Rabi Behera has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take possible measures to meet the fertiliser demands of farmers.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Behera said an artificial crisis of fertilisers has been created by Odisha State Cooperative Marketing Federation (Markfed) and Odisha Agro Industries Corporation (OAIC), the two Government agencies entrusted for distribution of fertiliser to farmers.Though the Government has created a corpus of `100 crore for pre-positioning of fertilisers ahead of monsoon, the two agencies have failed to keep required stocks in the districts.
Taking this opportunity, private traders are charging `50 to `100 more per bag of fertiliser. This is despite the fact that prices of fertilisers have come down after reduction of GST from 12 per cent to 5 per cent, the letter stated.“A 50-kg urea packet which is supposed to be sold at `295.86 is now being sold at `350 to `400 and it is not available as per the requirement of the farmers,” he said.
With about 47 lakh hectares (ha) under kharif cultivation in the State, the requirement of fertiliser will be around 13 lakh tonnes. If the current crisis will be allowed to continue, private traders will take the advantage of the situation to fleece the poor farmers, he added. This will seriously affect the State Government plan to increase use of chemical fertiliser from 60 kg to 90 kg per ha in the State. Urea, di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and potash are the popular varieties of fertilisers among the farmers.