Chandikhole: Farmers under Barchana block in Jajpur district have been caught in a Catch-22 situation owing to crop loss due following low-pressure triggered rainfall and black marketing of fertilizers, a report said.
Low-pressure triggered rainfall has damaged crops on large tracts of farmlands just sparing paddy cultivation on irrigated farmlands. This might have proved a setback for them but they were determined and were preparing to apply fertilizers to the crops when its black marketing dealt a severe blow.
Reports said that fertilizers are being sold at twice their actual price at Chhatia, Barchana, Dhanmandal, Chandikhole, Balikuda, Balchandrapur and Charinangal areas under Barchana block. Despite this, the district administration is yet to launch a crackdown on the black marketers.
They are visiting the retail stores to buy fertilizers but find that it has disappeared from the stores. Farmers alleged some unscrupulous traders are black marketing the fertilizer and selling it at exorbitant prices. This situation has been reported from various places under Barchana block in Jajpur district.
Farmers alleged that they now need urea fertilizers to feed their paddy crops. A sack of fertilizer is sold at Rs 266 in the market but due to black marketing it is now available for anything between Rs 500-600 in the market. Similarly, Gromor and DAP fertilizers are also being sold at exorbitant prices in the market, they said
According to government norms, every primary agricultural cooperative society (PACs) has to give loans to farmers for cultivation and also provide the loanee farmers with fertilizers at government rates. The transaction should be made through the bank accounts of the farmers.
It is alleged that many PACs are lifting fertilizers from the manufacturers but are not selling them to loanee farmers.
Reports said two dealers have been appointed in Barchana block to sell fertilizers to the farmers. According to norms, farmers should produce their Aadhaar cards and give their thumb impression to buy the fertilizers at government rates.
However, the reverse is happening here as the dealers and PACs are allegedly selling the fertilizers to small traders in rural areas for a premium. In turn, these small traders are selling fertilizers to farmers at exorbitant prices.
Many small traders are collecting the Aadhaar cards of farmers and taking their thumb impression but not selling the fertilizers. Later, the leftover fertilizer stock is shown as sold. Many traders are trying to keep the gullible farmers from visiting their stores by keeping their shops closed during daytime and only opening them in the evening.
A farmer alleged that he recently visited a store but was turned away by the store owner stating that he is yet to receive fertilizers. The store owners are not even putting up boards displaying price list of the fertilizers. Any farmer trying to protest is turned away without giving him any fertilizer.
When contacted, Lokanath Mishra, Block Agriculture Officer, said that his official team is raiding various places but no farmer has come forward to lodge a complaint. He assured that action will be taken on receipt of complaints.