Jeypore: Alleged black-marketing and short-supply of fertilisers have enraged farmers of Koraput district. The problem has come at a time when the farming season is at its peak.
Farmer leaders along with Jeypore MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati staged protests over the issue at the sub-collector’s office Wednesday. They warned of intensifying the agitation across the state if the problem is not addressed forthwith.
Bahinipati led hundreds of farmers who took out a bike rally in Jeypore town and staged a dharna outside the sub-collector’s office.
They submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister to sub-collector Hemakant Saya. They demanded an investigation into the alleged black marketing of the fertilizers in the district while farmers and farming have been suffering.
The Congress leader asserted that the ruling party has admitted to black-marketing of fertilizers. “The state government should immediately intervene and ensure immediate supply of fertilizers to farmers. If no step is taken, farmers across the state will be bound to agitate over the issue,” Bahinipati warned.
The farmers demanded that each panchayat should have a sales point for fertilizers while action should be taken against black-marketeers.
Bahinipati said 80 percent of paddy sapling transplantation in the state is over, but farmers have no fertilizers to apply in the fields.
He also pointed out that the BJD has submitted a memorandum alleging black-marketing of fertilizers.
Farmers said paddy plants require urea for growth. If urea is not applied in time, plants will not grow and it will not give good harvests, they added.
It was learnt that the district requires 32,500 tonnes of urea, but it received just 13,250 tonnes of fertilizers.
Farmers have to buy fertilizers from traders at Rs 700 a packet which is much higher than the government fixed price.
The sub-collector assured farmers that a committee will be formed to contain black-marketing of fertilizers and action will be taken against illegal hoarders.