Kendrapara, June 21 (LocalWire): A severe fertilizer shortage is threatening the timely sowing of paddy and allied Kharif crops like jute and vegetables in the coastal district of Kendrapara.
Due to the non-availability of sufficient fertilizers, many farmers are being forced to buy DAP (Di-ammonium phosphate) and urea at exorbitant rates from black marketeers and illicit hoarders.
“We are demanding immediate release of fertilizer. Otherwise, the paddy saplings will wither away and we will suffer huge losses,” said Chitaranjan Das, a farmer of Bharatapur village.
Parth Parida, a farmer of Gandakhia village, said, “I have four acres of land. If the fertilizer is not supplied in sufficient quantities, the paddy saplings would die.
I came to purchase fertilizer in Kendrapada on Saturday but in vain.
Our livelihood is at stake but our pleas for fertilizer supplies have fallen on the deaf ears of the authorities,” he regretted.
The authorities have increased the price of the fertilizers from Rs 1900 per quintal of DAP and Rs 220 per 50 kg of urea to Rs 2300 per quintal DAP and Rs 266.50 per 45 kg urea respectively.
Already reeling under difficulties due to COVID-19, the increase in prices has come as a shock to farmers.
Besides, the black marketeers are selling 45 kg packet of urea at Rs 300 to Rs 350 and a quintal of DAP at Rs 2500, alleged Umesh Chandra Singh, a farmers’ leader and the president of the district unit of Krusak Sabha.
The shortage will seriously hamper the authorities’ plans to push agriculture as a significant contributor to development.
If the authorities do not act fast, the scheme that the government took to bring back agriculture into many rural homes will go haywire, added Singh.
When contacted, Sarada Prasan Mishra, the district agricultural officer of Kendrapara said, “Farmers of the district have planned to raise paddy on 1,52,000 hectors of agricultural land for which they need 24,000 tonnes of fertilizers this Kharif season.
Currently, we have around 1200 tonnes of fertilizer. We have entrusted 121 Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) to supply fertilizers to the farmers and till date 41 (PACSs) received fertilizers from us.
Other PACSs will soon receive the fertilizer from us. We will provide 24,000 tonnes fertilizers to the farmers soon.”