NAGAPATTINAM/KARAIKAL:Farmers of the tail-end region have expressed apprehension over the quality of Chinese urea out of fear that in the past the stocks supplied from that country were sub-standard
To tide the shortfall of urea this Samba season, officials have distributed a meagre amount of stocks to farmers. But, farmers are skeptical about the quality of the Chinese stocks.
Citing their past experience where a huge consignment of 47,000 tonnes of Chinese fertilizer found unsuitable for agriculture seized by agriculture officials, farmers have urged officials to conduct a quality check on the imported product this time.
In December 2013, about 47,000 tonnes of urea imported by a firm Zuari Agro Chemicals from China was confiscated as test results revealed that the product was 12 per cent short of the mandatory 46 per cent of nitrogen content, which would help in soil strengthening.
In Nagapattinam district, officials have set a target of 1.08 lakh hectares for Samba and Thalady crops, of which 90 per cent has been achieved. However, farmers expressed concern over the limited availability of urea and its high prices.
Due to the sudden halt in production of indigenous urea, delta farmers were facing a shortage of as much as 50 per cent even during the first two weeks of October. Left with no option, import of urea turned out to be the best way to meet the increase in demand. About 1,942 tonnes from China is said to have been distributed to farmers in the delta and adjacent districts.
Speaking to Express, Cauvery Dhanapalan, general secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, said, “Poor fertilizer quality will affect not just the yield but also the soil quality.”