In a bid to prevent illegal hoarding and black marketing of fertilisers, the Jagatsinghpur administration has started a verification drive to foil any attempt to create an artificial crisis during the sowing season.
Sixteen squads to prevent hoarding and black marketing of fertilisers have been constituted.
Earlier this week, these squads had raided 16 wholesale and retail shops in six blocks of the district and found large-scale irregularities in the disbursement of fertilisers. While 199 gunny bags were seized from these shops as excess stock, 1,551 bags were found to be less than the sanctioned stock. Besides, the raiding parties found irregularities like improper maintenance of the fertiliser stocks and figures in stock registers fudged.
Recently, similar raids were conducted at the Markfed outlets in the area that deal with fertilisers.
Sources said in the wake of shortage, particularly Gromor, unscrupulous traders are selling 20.20.0 variety of the fertiliser at the price of 28.28.0 variety at rural haats putting additional financial burden on the poor and marginal farmers already reeling under loan burden.
While the rate of 28.28.0 Gromor is ` 1,301 per 50 kg, that of 20.20.0 variety is `690/50 kg.
As there is high demand of 28.28.0 variety, Markfed had procured the fertiliser from Andhra Pradesh and other states to meet the demand.
Though Markfed used to earlier supply fertilisers to farmers directly, the same is being supplied through various cooperative societies now. The societies then disburse fertilisers to retailers who supply it to farmers. “The retailers instead of supplying the fertilisers to farmers at subsidised rates, sell them in the open market to make profit. At the end, it is the farmers who fall victims to this mismanagement,” said a farmer leader, requesting anonymity.
Informing about the modus operandi, he said the unscrupulous traders repack the 20.20.0 variety in gunny bags meant for 28.28.0 and sell them at higher rates.
The situation is the same as far as other fertiliser varieties like DAP, potash and urea are concerned. Peasants are forced to buy them at an exorbitant price in black.
“The government should take timely action against the hoarders so that the farmers can get adequate fertilisers,” he said.
Deputy Director of Agriculture Chabindra Kumar Behera said following allegations from farmers, raids are being conducted at fertiliser outlets.
District Collector Satya Kumar Mallick said the raids would continue and traders found guilty taken to task.