Bargarh: Even as farming activities are picking up in western Odisha, farmers in various parts of Bargarh district have started facing a shortage of urea fertilizer. It was alleged that there was rampant black marketing of the fertilizer, while the administration is yet to stop it. Farmers said, in the initial phase of the farming activities, urea is needed for the saplings to grow.
Farmers said that the agriculture department has made a provision of 10 sackfuls of urea for a farmer at the primary agriculture cooperative societies on the submission of necessary documents.
“At present, the required quantities of fertilizers are not being made available at the societies. On the other hand, the fertilizer is being black marketed in the district. 10 sackfuls of urea do not meet the requirement of large farmers. They have to buy it from traders in the open market,” they said.
Marginal farmers have to face the pinch of buying fertilizers at higher prices when farming activities require more fertilizers.
A packet of urea (45 kg) is officially priced at Rs 266.50 available at PACSs and authorized retailers.
In kharif season, paddy is cultivated in 2,47,268 hectares in Bargarh district. Based on the targets for paddy cultivation, the quantities of fertilizers for the district are fixed.
During the last kharif season, the quota for different fertilizers for the district was 24,385 tonnes. This year, the quantity of fertilizers required for the district is 24,500 tonnes.
Transplantation of paddy has already been completed in the district and the standing crops badly require fertilizer. Urea should be applied within 15 days of transplantation, but there is a scarcity of urea in the district, it is said.
Farmers demanded immediate supply of fertilizer as paddy crops badly required urea at the present stage for the growth of its plants.
If the fertilizer is not applied in the right time, it will affect the growth of paddy plants and the yield, they said.
Laxman Pradhan, a farmer of Gobindapalli, said if urea is not applied in right quantities at this time, expecting a good harvest this year is impossible. Like previous years, the district is going to face a urea shortage.
Suresh Nekanti, a farmer of Kalapani, said a farmer get 10 packets of urea on the basis of the Aadhaar card but medium and large farmers have to buy fertilizers now from outside to meet their huge requirements.
Farmer alleged that they have to buy a packet of urea at high prices – paying Rs 50 to Rs 60 more than its usual price.
District agriculture officer Santosh Kumar Maharana said.” We have 19,000 tonnes of urea in stock while farmers are being supplied the fertilizer at subsidized price.
We have written to higher authorities to allot more fertilizer to the district, he added.