Making a strong plea for formulating an appropriate fertiliser policy to control prices of chemical fertilisers, the State Government on Monday urged the Centre to direct private companies, manufacturing fertilisers, to extend 45 days of credit to cooperative societies.
“There has been a spurt in prices of fertilisers, specifically decontrolled phosphatic and potassic fertilisers. The prices are changing frequently resulting in a chaotic situation in the field,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a letter to Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers MK Alagiri.
The farmers are facing difficulty in ascertaining the prices of fertilisers. Unscrupulous dealers are taking advantage of the situation and exploiting the farmers. The farmers are inclined to use more of nitrogenous fertilisers, particularly urea, because of skewed prices of phosphatic and potassic fertilisers.
“This is not a healthy sign as such imbalanced use of chemical fertilisers is likely to adversely affect soil health and crop yield,” the Chief Minister said.
Calling for an appropriate fertiliser policy to keep the rising prices under control, Naveen said, “Instead of leaving them completely at the mercy of the market forces, steps should be taken to maintain stable price of fertilisers for at least a particular cropping season.”
Keeping in line with the policy of Central Government of bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India, the State has geared up its mechanism for boosting agricultural productivity. Accordingly, systematic plans have been drawn up to raise the fertiliser consumption up to the national level.
“At this crucial juncture, the new fertiliser policy has come as a bane for the farmers of the State,” Naveen said in his letter.
He further said cooperative organisations play a vital role in fertiliser supply chain in the State. The cooperative societies act as a bulwark against black-marketing by unscrupulous dealers.
However, the recent directive of the Centre that cooperative organisations should be given only a week’s time for fund mobilisation has crippled the cooperative supply chain.
Since IFFCO extends 45-day credit to cooperative societies, the Chief Minister said it would be definitely better if the private companies are directed to extend the same duration of credit to the cooperative societies. He requested the Union Minister to ensure the continued functioning of the cooperative supply chain by directing all the fertiliser companies to extend 45 days of credit to cooperative organisations engaged in distribution of fertilisers.