BENGALURU: It is the Kharif season and sowing has started. This is the time fertilisers are needed the most. But farmers from across the state are complaining that there is a severe shortage and black marketing of this crucial input for their farming activities. The demand is the highest in June and July and any shortage, either due to lack of supplies or hoarding by unscrupulous traders, will lead to big shortfalls in agriculture production.
“Traders are charging higher than the actual price. How can poor farmers afford it? A group of 200 farmers will carry our produce and protest in front of the tahsildar’s office at Afzalpur in Kalaburagi on Monday,’’ said farmer leader Ramesh Hoogar.
A farmer from Afzalpur, Baganna Kumbar, said ‘’DAP is being sold for Rs 300 more than the marked price. We have complained about it to agricultural authorities.’’ Protests are spreading across the state. A few weeks ago, farmers, led by Kurubur Shanthakumar, agitated in Mysuru district.
Govt’s negligence led to fertiliser shortage: Siddu
In Kodagu and Hassan districts too, there is a shortage of fertilisers. Apart from black marketing and lack of supplies, farmers in Kolar have complained of fake brands of fertilisers being supplied to them. JDS leader and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said, “I have heard many complaints of fertiliser shortage and black marketing from across the state.
Unscrupulous dealers have jacked up the prices. Some farmers from Kolar complained to me about fake fertilisers. It is the government that is responsible for black marketing and fake fertilisers. Who says there is a government in place?” Kurubur Shantakumar said, “In Mysuru district, we protested outside the supply centre. I have received information about fertiliser shortage from different places.’’
Farmer leaders pointed out that even in Haveri, which is the home district of both Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Agriculture Minister BC Patil, there is a shortage of fertilisers and resulting black marketing. Congress leader and former CM Siddaramaiah said, “There is a shortage of fertilisers in most parts of the state. The government has to stock up seeds and fertilisers and supply them according to the requirement even before agricultural activities begin.
The government’s negligence has led to the shortage now. It should wake up at least now. I spoke to the agriculture minister over phone about this.’’ KPCC president DK Shivakumar said, “There is a shortage and also rampant blackmarketing of fertilisers. The government does not have the eyes to see or the heart to understand the plight of farmers.” Economist RS Deshpande said, “Any shortage of fertilisers is the failure of the agriculture department and state government.
Why cannot we have excess stocks of fertilisers as they do not go bad? For years we have heard of fertilizer shortage. Even ants plan for the rainy season. Can’t we?” BC Patil said, “There is no problem and there is no shortage.’’ Slamming him, former agriculture minister and Congress leader Krishna Byregowda said, “Instead of attending to the problem, the government is denying it.” An official from the agriculture department said, “There is no shortage. If there is a problem, it is only because of logistics issues, and we will sort them out immediately. We will send stocks of fertilisers to Kodagu and Has san on Monday.”