Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday sought a downward revision of prices of chemical fertilisers as high prices would have adverse impact on foodgrain production in the State.
‘’It is a matter of serious concern that instead of encouraging farmers, the recent policies of the Government of India on pricing and supply of chemical fertilisers have caused a great deal of imbalance leading to widespread resentment,’’ the Chief Minister said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said adequate and balanced use of fertilisers by farmers will go a long way in increasing the productivity of foodgrains.
The Chief Minister pointed that except urea, the prices of other major fertilisers like Di Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and Muriate of Potash (MoP) and complex fertilisers have increased by more than 100 per cent since April 1, 2011. “As a result, our small and marginal farmers are unable to afford the balanced use of chemical fertilisers,” he said.
To make the situation still worse, Naveen said even urea is not being supplied to the State in adequate quantities despite specific allocations by Government of India for Kharif 2012. Though the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers committed to supply 4.5 lakh MT urea during April-September, 2012, actual supply till August 23 was only 1.99 lakh MT, which was less than half of what was promised to the State, Naveen said. He claimed that Odisha has been making significant contribution to the food security of the nation.
As per the ‘supply plan’ of the Centre, 71,000 MT of imported urea was to be supplied to the State in August, he said. But the ship, carrying imported urea for the State, is still in high seas. “Unless supplied on time, this will have serious consequences for farmers of Odisha,” he said.
Seeking Prime Minister’s intervention to salvage the situation, Naveen said the State’s minimum expectation would be to receive full quota of urea as per the Central allocation by end-September, of which at least one lakh MT may be supplied within the next one week.
“I would also urge you to seriously consider a downward revision in the prices of chemical fertilisers to safeguard the interest of the farming community,” he said. Odisha is among seven states currently implementing the scheme ‘Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI)’.