Rasulpur: Large scale irregularities in distribution of urea among farmers in Jajpur district have come to the fore, a report said. Reports said the irregularities were not limited to its overpricing or delayed distribution but smuggling of the fertilizer to outside of the state.
Farmers and traders from Rasulpur, Dharmasala, Bari and Barchana blocks under Dharmasala agriculture office have alleged urea smuggling to West Bengal and outside of the district.
They alleged large chunk of urea supplied to the district by various companies has been handed over to three to four wholesalers in Korei block for distribution.
These wholesalers instead of supplying it to retailers allegedly transport the urea stock to West Bengal and various other districts at a premium. As a result, this has given rise to urea scarcity in Rasulpur and Bari blocks where a majority of residents earn their livelihood from farming.
Lack of action on part of the district administration and district agriculture authorities has emboldened them to carry out their work with impunity.
Farmers alleged that companies are to blame. They pointed to the connivance of agriculture and district officials in the smuggling. They demanded the district administration to intervene and launch a crackdown on unscrupulous officials and wholesalers involved in the smuggling.
The kharif season is from April till October during when paddy cultivation is the mainstay of farmers. Keeping this in mind, the state government provides urea to farmers at subsidised rates. Various fertiliser companies supply urea to districts for which they have signed an agreement with the government.
The smooth distribution of urea among farmers is vested with the District Collectors and the district agricultural officers. However, fertiliser companies supply urea as per their whims due to the apathetic attitude of the district administration and agriculture officials.
They do not keep the district administration informed of the stocks and supply it to the district and hand over the stocks to a few wholesalers.
Sources said that the district administration has submitted its indent with the state government for 14,700 MT of urea for this kharif season. Accordingly, over 1000 MT of urea is required for Rasulpur block. Meanwhile, Nagarjuna Fertilizers has supplied 1407.595MT, Coromandel Fertilizers 651.690 MT, India Phosphates 274.230 MT, IFFCO Fertilizers 510.300 MT to the district which together works out to 2843.815 MT.
However, to the surprise of farmers Rasulpur block has received only 188.550 MT while 2089.615 MT has been supplied to a few wholesalers in Korei block.
Moreover, retailers are not using point of sale (PoS) machines while selling fertilizers to farmers. As PoS machines are not used during sale, the urea stock available in the district is different. The online portal shows urea is available with the district while in reality the district lacks fertilizers.
Contacted, Ajay Kumar Senapti, chief district agriculture officer, said the wholesalers and fertilizer companies have been directed to give details of urea supplied to the district and their plans on its smooth distribution. He, however, assured to review the wrongdoings and take action.