Dollar rise pushes up DAP price:IFFCO

Chandigarh: The rise in the US dollar value against the rupee has led to a Rs 3,500 a tonne increase in prices of fertiliser (DAP) imported from other countries to meet the domestic requirement, a top official of Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has said here.

"Rs 3,500 a tonne is a direct impact of US dollar – appreciation against rupee -," IFFCO Managing Director U S Awasthi told reporters here when asked about the impact of the rising dollar on domestic prices of fertiliser.

"Earlier, the US dollar was Rs 45 and now it has reached Rs 50 (against rupee)," he said, adding that dollar appreciation had an impact of prices of fertilisers in the country. He further said IFFCO has passed on the impact of the dollar appreciation to farmers.

IFFCO is eyeing the import of 6 million tonnes of DAP in the current fiscal, as against 8 MT of DAP last fiscal. IFFCO imports fertiliser from various countries, including the US, Russia, Japan, Morocco, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan, etc. Awasthi said at present, IFFCO sells DAP at a price of Rs 18,100 per tonne, while it gets a subsidy of Rs 19,700 per tonne from the Centre.

Besides fluctuation in foreign exchange rates, an increase in the price of DAP in international markets over the last five months has also led to a rise in the landed cost of the fertiliser. Awasthi pointed out that IFFCO currently imports DAP at a price of USD 677 a tonne, as against USD 612 per tonne in the month of June.

Expressing concern over the indiscriminate use of fertiliser by farmers, the IFFCO MD emphasised on using green manure, biofertilisers and nutrient-enriched organic manure in a balanced manner for soil rejuvenation. "The time has come to educate farmers to rejuvenate soil through the application of biofertiliser, green manure," he asserted.

Demanding reform in the agriculture sector of India, the IFFCO MD said farmers should be allowed to sell their crop anywhere and to anyone so that they can fetch better returns.

"We need reforms in the state… Farmers should have a right to sell crop anywthere… It is the commission agents which fix rate of farm produce in mandis, a practice which must be abolished," he said. Awasthi also stressed upon the need for greater investment in the farm sector of the country.