BHAWANIPATNA:After facing four floods in the last three months, farmers of Kalahandi district are now finding it difficult to procure urea.Farmers in the district have grown paddy and cotton in the current kharif season and the crops are in different stages of growth. While paddy is in tillering stage, cotton crops are in vegetative to flowering stage and require neem-based urea for growth. However, the fertiliser is not available with the dealers and the primary agricultural co-operative societies (PACS) in the district.
Farmers alleged that in some places, traders taking advantage of the situation, have stocked up the fertiliser and selling them at high rates. On Monday, Sub-Collector Mirdha Toppo along with District Agriculture Officer Ashok Amath conducted surprise raids at the fertiliser godown of a businessman in Kesinga, who had stocked fertilisers of different brands. During verification, 19,972 bags, each weighing 45 kgs of fertilisers, were found in the godown. The stock was meant to be dispatched to Boudh, Rayagada, Nuapada and Balangir districts and 12,241 bags were meant for Kalahandi district.
The wholesalers concerned were directed by the Sub-Collector to lift the stock from the godown and deliver them to dealers within two days so that fertilisers reach farmers on time. “Failing this, action will be taken against the wholesalers and godown owners,” Mirdha said. Farmers have, meanwhile, demanded immediate supply of urea because if the fertiliser is not applied in the right time, it will affect the growth of paddy and cotton crops and delay yield.
In the current kharif season, the district requires 32,500 MT of urea. The Directorate of Agriculture has allocated 29,000 MT of which, only 22,597 MT has reached the district. The fertiliser is being distributed through 74 PACs and 780 private dealers, who have been provided licence by MARKFED.
Deputy Director (Agriculture) Prahalad Sahu said the district now requires 32,500 MT urea and the directorate has been requested to supply the balance quantity in phases. He said field officials have been directed to keep an eye on hoarding by unscrupulous traders. Sahu informed that 16 traders have been served show cause notices for hoarding of fertilisers.