I the wake of supply deficit, the farmers of Jagatsinghpur, home district of Odisha Agriculture Minister, Damodar Rout are forced to buy fertilisers at higher rates from the open market. The New Indian Express has reported from Jagatsinghpur, neither the district administration nor agriculture officials are taking any steps to check the illegal sale which has worried the farmers. Among the fertilisers, diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser is the most sought after.
The district has two fertiliser production units – IFFCO and Paradeep Phosphates Ltd – that produce DAP and urea. However, these units have been unable to meet DAP and urea requirements of farmers. According to the State Agriculture Department reports, only 2,484 MT of DAP has been supplied to the district so far instead of the requirement of 4,500 MT.
Similarly, against the requirement of 8,500 MT of urea, only 4,190 MT has been supplied till now. The requirement of potash is 2,000 MT and supply has been only 1,217 MT.
Due to the shortage, prices of fertilisers have skyrocketed in the open market. While the government price of a 50 kg bag of urea is Rs 298, retailers are selling it for Rs 450. Apparently, modernisation work at Cuttack railway station has affected transportation of fertilisers to the district. East Coast Railways has restricted plying of goods trains on Cuttack-Paradip railway line as a result of which, the required quantity of fertilisers cannot reach Jagatsinghpur district.
Narendra Kumar Behera, Deputy Director, Odisha Agriculture Department said to The New Indian Express, “The IFFCO fertiliser unit has not supplied the required quantity of urea due to its defunct machineries as a result, the Agriculture department has procured IPL, Nagarjuna and Kissan brands of urea to be supplied to farmers. On Tuesday, 390 MT of Kissan brand urea was supplied in the district.”