CHENNAI: Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam has urged the Union government to ensure timely supply of urea and diammonium phosphate (DAP) to the State since Kuruvai paddy cover in the delta region has reached 4.9 lakh acres.
This is the highest in the past 46 years, thanks to the rains during the southwest monsoon this year. The minister made the demand in his August 26-letter to Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh L Mandaviya.
Panneerselvam recalled that the Government of India, to meet the increased demand, had promised a supply plan of 3.838 lakh metric tonnes of urea for April-August. “But, we received only 2.56 lakh metric tonnes so far, leaving a shortfall of 1.278 lakh metric tonnes. As for DAP, the supply plan for the said period is 1.20 lakh metric tonnes. Of this, fertiliser companies supplied only 0.87 lakh metric tonnes, leaving a shortfall of 33,000 metric tonnes,” the minister pointed out.
“Farmers in the State need urea for basal dose for the crops to be raised and for the top dressing for all crops cultivated on over 25.4 lakh acres. Any shortfall in the supply of urea and DAP will drastically affect crop yield and, in turn, the income of the farmers,” Panneerselvam pointed out.
Explaining the reasons for the increased demand for fertilisers this year, he said that major reservoirs in the southern parts of the State were opened after several years due to copious rains. This helped the State to bring over 10 lakh acres under paddy cultivation, which is 2.72 lakh acres more than last year’s total coverage. As on date, land under cultivation of all crops exceeded 25.4 lakh acres, he added.
Chemical break down
Diammonium phosphate (DAP) is the second most commonly-used fertiliser in India right after urea. This fertiliser consists of Nitrogen and Phosphorous which provides crops with important nutrients, aiding faster development of the crops. The fertiliser is applied before or at the time of sowing crops