Deogaon: At a time when Covid-induced restrictions have grounded income generation activities, black-marketing of fertilisers and their short supply have taken a toll on farming activities in Bolangir with farmers left at the receiving end.
A racket, active in Deogaon area, has been smuggling subsided fertilisers from Chhattisgarh. This fact came to the fore after 180 packets of DAP urea were seized in Jagdalpur.
Farmers have been complaining about acute shortage of fertilisers when farming activities are picking up in the district.
According to reports, a mini truck was carrying 180 packets of DAP urea from Jagdalpur to Deogaon July 28. Acting on a tipoff, police seized the truck in the area. The urea is suspected to be adulterated and fake.
The police have sent samples of the seized fertilisers to a laboratory in Sambalpur.
Farmers had earlier alleged that Krushnachandra Rana, a resident of Deogaon block, had been supplying fertilisers from Chhattisgarh and selling it at high prices to farmers at Gudkhapla, Badabahal, Arjanpur, Kulutapada, Mukundpur, Uparjhara and Mahali panchayats.
The seized truck has been handed over to assistant agriculture officer of Jharbandh Pranay Mantri and Dunguripalli assistant agriculture officer Manoj Rout.
During the investigation, the two officials confirmed that the fertilisers were being smuggled from Jagdalpur. Smuggled fertilieers are allegedly sold at high prices to farmers who are facing shortage of fertilizers.
This problem comes up every farming season in district. Besides, unscrupulous dealers push supply of fake fertilisers with tacit support from agriculture officers.
The administration should conduct investigations into alleged short supply and black marketing of urea at this time, farmers said. They pointed out that at the peak of farming, farmers require urea and other fertilisers to nurture paddy plants.
“Urea is not available sufficiently with dealers and the primary agricultural co-operative societies in the district. Wholesalers and dealers are deliberately creating artificial shortage of fertilisers,” farmers lamented.
Fertiliser dealers, retailers and agriculture officials have allegedly formed a racket to divert subsidised fertilisers into open market. All this happens in Tusura, Deogaon and Badangomunda areas.
Farmers said that this problem stands in sharp contrast to the state and the central governments’ priority on smooth fertilizer supply and focus on farming to tide over the aftereffects of the pandemic.
They have demanded action against illegal hoarders and smugglers.