Shortage of fertilizer has seriously affected the farmers of Kendrapara district in this Kharif season. In spite of growing demand, the fertilizer crisis has been aggravating day by day.
Talking to the newsmen here, Umesh Chandra Singh, president of district unit of Krusak Sabha, expressed grave concern over shortage of the urea and DAP fertilizer in the district. He alleged that the dealers were selling the fertilizer at inflated rates.
He said the district administration has failed to check the practice of the dealers who are also creating artificial shortage of fertiliser in the region.
After the farmers resorted to demonstration and road blockades in Patakura, Mahakalapada and Rajkanika, the authorities had assured them of supplying adequate fertilizer. The demand for DAP is expected to rise by mid-August.
DAP is sold in the black market at Rs 3000 per quintal against the government fixed price of Rs 2360, putting the poorer and marginal farmers in trouble. The urea priced at Rs 570 per quintal is selling at Rs 700 to 800, said Madhaba Jena, a farmer of Gandakhia.
Though the agriculture department had launched a movement against the black marketers, it failed to yield any result.
Jena said the government should develop some mechanism to regulate the distribution system and take timely action against the traders resorting to black-marketing of fertiliser.
When contacted, Deputy Director of Agriculture department Kailash Chandra Ojha said, “The farmers of Kendrapara district planned to raise paddy on 1,52,000 hectares for which they need 24,000 tonnes of fertilizer this Kharif season. Till date, about 3000 tonnes of fertilizer have been received.
Last year, the Agriculture department had supplied 9000 tonnes of fertilizer to the farmers of the district. This year, it has been decided to provide 12,000 tonnes, Ojha said.