The Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation (TDCC) has come to the rescue of the farmers of five tribal dominated districts by opening outlets for sale of chemical fertiliser.
TDCC stepped into the business of distribution of chemical fertiliser following large scale complaints from farmers of tribal dominated districts covered by the OTELP (Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Programme) project.
The State-run Corporation has positioned 240 tonnes of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and 130 tonnes of urea in seven integrated tribal development agency (ITDA) points of the five districts for sale to the farmers at reasonable rate, official sources said.
The TDCC outlets are located at Sunabeda in Koraput district, R Udaygiri, Balliguda and Daringbadi in Kandhamal district, Nabarangpur and Chatikana of Rayagada district.
Steps have been taken to store muriate of phosphate (MoP) at these outlets. However, MoP is currently not available with Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL) and Indian Potash Limited (IPL).
The State Government has rolled out a number of livelihood projects covering field and plantation crops in micro project programme areas of these districts which require application of fertiliser for better growth and productivity.
Though there is a huge demand for fertiliser, some unscrupulous traders are indulged in black-marketing in inaccessible areas forcing poor farmers to buy at a much higher price than the maximum retail price, said OTELP Programme Director Sushanta Nanda.
Plans are afoot to open more outlets in tribal dominated districts to facilitate farmers to buy fertiliser from the TDCC at reasonable price, he said.
The Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Development Department has asked its field staff to sensitise the farmers to lift fertiliser from the TDCC outlets.
The special officers of the seven ITDAs have been asked to make realistic plan for better utilisation of the stock available with TDCC.