Kendrapara, July 21 (LocalWire): Kharif paddy is ready for cultivation but thousands of farmers of Kendrapara are in a quandary as they have not been able to procure fertilizers.
The state government has not provided fertilizers at the right time and farmers are being forced to buy sub-standard and spurious Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and urea from black marketers at an exorbitant rate for the timely sowing of crops.
‘If sufficient fertilizer is not supplied, paddy saplings will die,’ said Chitarasnhan Das of Bharatapur village.
‘I came to purchase fertilizer in Kendrapara on Saturday but in vain. Our livelihood is at stake but our pleas for fertilizer supplies have fallen on deaf ears of the authorities,’ Bhikari Mohanty of Ichapur , who has three acres of standing paddy, regretted.
Gayadhar Dhal, president of the district unit of Krusaka Sabha, said, ‘We are demanding an immediate release of fertilizers otherwise, the sown crop will wither away and we will suffer huge losses.’
The shortage of fertilizer during the cultivation season will seriously hamper the government’s plan to push agriculture as a significant contributor towards development.
Due to scanty rainfall in June and July farmers are as it is in deep trouble and the government added salt to their wounds by not providing fertilizer at the right time,’ said another farmers’ leader, Umesh Chandra Singh.
Haricharan Rath, the farm management specialist of Kendrapara agricultural department said, ‘Out of 1,82,184 hectares, farmers have raised paddy in over 1,23, 000 hectares of agricultural land and need around 15350 metric tonnes of fertilizer.
We have received 1000 metric tonnes of fertilizer from the government and are waiting for further instalments. Of the 121 cooperative societies, only 57 societies took fertlisers from us to sell to the farmers.
Stringent action will be taken against those involved in selling spurious fertilizers.