Farmers’ demand for fertiliser echoes on streets 

Over 2,000 farmers took part in the agitation and beseiged godowns of MARKFED and LAMPS in Umerkote from 10 am to 5 pm, besides blocking all entry points to the town.
Farmers block Umerkote-Jeypore highway over fertiliser shortage on Tuesday  | Express
Farmers block Umerkote-Jeypore highway over fertiliser shortage on Tuesday | Express

UMERKOTE: Vehicular traffic was disrupted for over seven hours after irate farmers took to the streets blocking the Umerkote-Jeypore highway on Tuesday, over fertiliser shortage in the district. Over 2,000 farmers took part in the agitation and beseiged godowns of MARKFED and LAMPS in Umerkote from 10 am to 5 pm, besides blocking all entry points to the town.

In a district like Nabarangpur where 80 per cent people depend on agriculture, fertilizer shortage has been a major issue. Since no action is taken despite repeated complaints, the farmers resort to frequent protests. If sources are to be believed, farmers have blocked highways in the district at least 13 times in last 20 days and 4 times in last 7 days in Umerkote. Adequate fertilisers at fair prices has been the constant demand in all the protests. 

In the previous protests on July 26 and July 30, farmers had gheraoed the agriculture office and blocked roads. They had also forced the Block Agricultural Officer (BAO)and additional BAO to walk with them in the rally and called off the stir after authorities concerned assured them in writing of resolving the issue.  
On the other hand, BAO Bidhu Bhusan Mahakool said 1,200 packets of fertilizer are stored at two distribution centers and are now being distributed among the rallying farmers. Besides, the administration has assured to provide sufficient fertilizers from August 5, he said.

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