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Nabarangpur farmers allege black marketing of fertiliser

The agitators  alleged that instead of providing fertilisers to farmers, officials of the society are handing over the stock to traders who are minting money. 

Published: 13th July 2021 07:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2021 07:54 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers standing in a queue to purchase fertilisers from dealers | EPS

By Express News Service

UMERKOTE: Farmers in Nabarangpur district facing the challenges of the pandemic have alleged that the Regional Cooperative Marketing Societies in the district have failed them in supplying fertilisers. As a result, they are being forced to buy fertilisers from dealers who are charging inflated rates allegedly in connivance with the agriculture officials. 

According to some farmers, a dealer in Murtama panchayat under Umerkote block was allegedly charging double the price for a 50 kg-packet of Urea reportedly in the presence of the Block Agriculture Officer (BAO) Bibhu Bhushan Mahakul on Monday. While the MRP inscribed on the  packet is Rs 266, the dealer sold it at 450-550 per packet. Further, the farmers were also forced to buy one pack of Zinc (a non-fertilizer) with two packets of Urea, though there is no requirement for it at this stage, they added. 

Protesting the alleged nexus and supply deficit in many RCMSs, the farmers had recently blocked the highway. The agitators  alleged that instead of providing fertilisers to farmers, officials of the society are handing over the stock to traders who are minting money. 

Farmer leader Khemraj Bagh said, other than the government-approved shops, some private individuals are licensed in the district to distribute fertilizers for the benefit of farmers. “It is disconcerting that fertilizers are black marketed under the noses of fertilizer traders and agriculture department officials and no action is taken to curb the menace,” alleged Bagh. Furthermore, the harvesting season witnesses artificial shortage of fertilizers and the traders indulge in this to jack up prices. 

Contacted, Mahakul defended the traders saying they buy 50-kg Urea packet at Rs 300-310 against the MRP of Rs 266 per packet from the company. “They are forced to inflate the price and sell to the farmers because they purchase the fertilizers at a higher rate and add to it transportation, loading and unloading costs,” added Mahakul. Santosh Kumar Mishra, a lawyer and activist of Nabarangpur said this issue has been persistently bothering the farmers and should be solved with a strict vigilance by the administration.



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