Bhawanipatna: After being affected by floods in the last three months, farmers of Kalahandi district now are a distressed lot over inadequate supply of urea, reports said.
As paddy and cotton grown in Kharif season are in various stages of growth, farmers are in need of spraying urea for their crop. Similarly, cotton plants which are in a flowering stage and paddy crop require neem-based urea for growth.
However, the poor supply of urea has left the farmers in the lurch, forcing them to buy fertilizers from open markets by paying heavy prices as it is not available with the dealers and primary agricultural co-operative societies (PACS).
Taking advantage of the situation, traders are selling fertilizers at exorbitant rates.
Earlier, sub-collector Mirdha Toppo had conducted surprise raids on godowns suspecting hoarding of fertilisers. During verification 19,972 bags were found in the godown.
Farmers have, meanwhile, demanded immediate supply of urea before the paddy and cotton crops are affected.
The district requires 32,500MT of Urea in the current Kharif season. The fertilizer is being distributed through 74 PACs and 780 private dealers who have been authorized by MARKFED to supply.
Deputy director (Agriculture) Prahalad Sahu said the district now requires 32,500 MT urea and the directorate has been requested to supply Urea in phases. He said field officials have been directed to keep a watch on unscrupulous traders resorting to hoard fertilizers. Sahu informed newsmen that show cause notices have been served on 16 traders for hoarding of fertilizers.