Centre rubbishes Odisha claim on fertiliser supply

Bhubaneswar: Rejecting Odisha government’s allegation of inadequate supply of fertiliser to the state, Centre today claimed to have provided 10 per cent more urea than the previous year.

“The availability of urea from February to September 16 and estimated supply for the rest of the period till September 30 shall be 4.86 lakh MT as compared to 4.42 lakh MT during the same period in 2011,” Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Srikant Jena, said.

Jena’s statement came after Odisha’s Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra alleged that the state received about 26 per cent less fertiliser this kharif.

“Though the Centre committed supply of 9.66 lakh MT of fertiliser during kharif-2012, the state got only 5.26 MT by mid-September, which was 26.6 per cent less,” Mishra had claimed.

Rubbishing Mishra’s claim, the Union Minister accused the state government of failing to ensure that the fertiliser provided by Centre reaches the farmers in time.

Mishra had also claimed that Odisha is likely to face about 12 per cent fall in paddy yield due to inadequate and untimely fertiliser supply to farmers.

The farmers of Odisha prefer urea, but the state got only 2.99 lakh MT urea against commitment of 4.73 lakh MT, Mishra pointed out, blaming the Centre for inadequate untimely supply of fertiliser.

Jena, however, claimed that while 4.42 lakh MT of urea was supplied to Odisha in 2011, the quantity this time had been 4.86 lakh, which was 10 per cent more than the supply made previous year.

“There has been an increase in supply of urea by about 44,000 MT of urea to Odisha during this kharif season,” Jena said.