No fertile soil for fertiliser bagging unit

Published: 14th November 2012 10:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th November 2012 10:54 AM   |  A+A-


Concerned over the low rate of fertiliser import via Cochin Port, the private company which installed an automated fertiliser bagging unit at the Cochin Port withdrew from the project and has taken the machine back.
 The company has taken the machine unit back and sent it back to Kenya from where it came.
 The device was imported and installed by LOTS Shipping Ltd which operates the Ro-Ro Service.
 “Actually we imported the machine and used it on a trial basis.
 Based on the low rate of fertiliser import via Cochin Port, it is not feasible to operate the machine here.
 This forced us to suspend the operations and withdraw from it,” said LOTS Shipping chief executive Ranjith T Nelluvelil.
 He said the fertiliser godown of the Cochin Port was not spacious enough to accommodate the machine.
 The bagging unit comprised grabs, hopper, bagging plant, weighing machines, stitching machines and a conveyor belt.
 Each bagging plant comprises two bagging lines.
 The unit could handle 140 tonnes of fertiliser (2800 bags of 50 kg each) per hour.
 The port management thought of installing a bagging unit after the imported cargo piled up in the godown for want of bagging labourers.
 In November 2010, around 24,000 tonnes of urea and 27,000 tonnes of potash remained uncleared at the godowns.
 The Kerala Head Load Workers Welfare Fund Board, which is supposed to supply the workforce was not able to provide enough number of labourers.
 The cause of the shortage was the compartmentalisation of labourers into various water-tight pools within the Welfare Board, where over 2500 workers are registered.
 Despite the lack of work for workers in other pools, they could not be spared by the Board resulting in shortage amidst plenty.
 The Welfare Board is able to supply only around 40 workers on an average against a demand of 120.
 The issue of low rate of clearance of imported fertilisers had an adverse impact on the agricultural sector and resulted in skyrocketing of prices.



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