September 21, 2012


India may experience crop loss due to fertiliser shortage


There is likelihood of Kharif crop loss of an estimated 15% due to the short supply of different fertilisers.


India's State Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra on Tuesday (Sep 18) slammed the Union Government for not supplying the required fertilisers to Odisha during the current Kharif season which is the lowest in recent three Kharif seaons.


Addressing a Press conference after stocktaking of the fertilisers' position, Mishra said the State Government had projected a requirement of 10.38 lakh tonnes of fertilisers against which the Union Government had committed to supply 9.66 lakh tonnes during April and September, 2012.


Stating that there has been a discrepancy in commitment and actual supply to Odisha during the current Kharif season, Mishra said till September 17, only 526,329 tonnes of fertilisers had arrived in the State.


He said, even against the commitment of the Centre for 4.50 lakh tones of urea, the actual supply position till Monday (Sep 17) through the manufacturers and pool handling agencies has been only around three lakh tonnes. Giving a comparative statement of the supply during last three Kharif seasons, he said while during 2010, the total fertiliser supply including SSP and AS was 757,259. The quantity declined to 706,802 during 2011 Kharif season and the supply was the lowest-ever this season which is only 526,329 tonnes.


Mishra lamented that though the peak fertiliser usage period was August, this year farmers of the State did not get the required manure due to insensitive attitude of the Union Fertiliser Ministry.


Mishra said due to the new Cash and Carry system being implemented by the Union Government in case of imported fertiliser, it was not possible on the part of the cooperative organisations like Markfed to lift the fertilisers within seven days as they are not financially so stable. Besides, the private fertiliser companies like IFFCO should give at least four to six weeks credit facilities to the cooperative organisations for the interest of the farmers of the State, he said. He also added that the State Government would request the Union Government, seeking at least six weeks' credit facilities so as to enable the cooperative institutions to lift the fertiliser quota.


Besides, Mishra regretted that though the railways had sanctioned 19 rake points for dumping of fertilisers in 30 districts, so far except Cuttack, Dhanmandal and Bhadrakh there were no basic infrastructural facilities at the rest of the 16 rake points which has been a problem for lifting the fertilisers. On enforcement activities, the Minister said that so far 2,484 dealer points have been inspected by the department's enforcement squads as well as the Vigilance and 24 licenses have been cancelled while 1,060 dealers have been issued show-cause notices.