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Storage Crunch, Bane of Fertilizer Supply

The State Government owned Odisha State Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited

Published: 19th July 2014 09:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2014 09:09 AM   |  A+A-

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ROURKELA: The State Government owned Odisha State Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited (MARKFED) has been plagued by myriad problems including inadequate storage facilities for fertilizer in Sundargarh district. The scenario continues to be same year after year with no corrective measures. Lingering shortage of fertilizer and untimely supply have hit the farmers of the rain-fed district.

Sources said against the demand of 25,000 tonnes of fertilizer for this kharif season, the MARKFED has a combined storage capacity of 2,500 tonnes.

The godown of MARKFED at Power House Road of Rourkela is located close to the railway rake point and has storage capacity of 2,000 tonnes. The space for 1000 tonnes was rented out to transport firm Great India Roadways several years back.

According to sources, a railway rake has the capacity to carry 2,600 to 2,700 tonnes of fertilizer. On arrival of a rake, fertilizer bags are hurriedly dispatched to different Large-sized Agricultural Multi Purpose Societies (LAMPS) located in Bargaon, Kutra, Rajgangpur, Kuanrmunda, Bisra, Lathikata, Nuagaon and Gurundia blocks to avoid payment of heavy demurrage charges.

Although transport of fertilizer through railway ensures effective monitoring, the railway rake point has stopped functioning. The MARKFED has two more depots of 1000 tonnes and 500 tonnes capacity at Sundargarh town and Rajamunda in Bonai sub-division respectively.

Admitting storage and transportation problems of fertilizer, Sundargarh-based Area Manager of MARKFED BN Padhi said efforts are underway to provide additional storage capacity of 4,000 tonnes at three points with Rourkela getting added space for 2,000 tonnes. Though Rourkela godown has one acre of land, the lease deed is pending for approval. Plans are also afoot to create extra space of 1000 tonnes at Sundargarh and Rajamunda godowns. But the capacity expansion proposals are unlikely to materialise soon, he added.

Padhi said of its one acre of land at Sundargarh, MARKFED has only 43 decimals in its possession and part of the rest land is occupied by MCL’s bypass. The depot at Rajamunda has been taken on rent from Regional Cooperative Marketing Society. “We are looking forward to have own land at Rajamunda and early expansion of capacity of all three godowns,” he added.

Deputy Director of Agriculture Narendra Behera said lack of storage facilities for fertilizer stocks remains a major concern for farmers in the district.



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