Rashmi Rekha Das

At a time when the flood has adversely affected farming-related activities, the black-marketing of fertilizers has added woes to the farmers across the state.

After floods destroyed standing crops in nearly 1.20 lakh hectares of agricultural lands across the state, farmers here are now grappling with the shortage of fertilizers and soaring prices in the black market.  The severe crunch of urea and di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) has hit hard the farming community.

Though the Centre claims to have provided adequate stock of fertilizers to the state, Odisha farmers are not getting fertilizers as per their requirements.

Farmers have no option but to purchase fertilizers by paying a hefty price to save the crops remaining after the spate of floods in the state. This is the time to spray fertilizers. Purchasing fertilizers at an overpriced rate due to the shortage is a big challenge for farmers.

Subash Patel, a farmer said, “Urea is being sold at Rs 500 per kg while its actual price is Rs 266. In this case a farmer is bound to buy fertilizer at an overrated rate. In Sambalpur-based fertilizer godown, fertilizers are not available. When we are going to buy urea fertilizer, we are asked to buy other fertilizers.  As a result, the farmers on Monday gheraoed Deputy Director of Agriculture protesting inadequate supply of fertilizers.”

On the other hand, Nischintakoili-based government godown has enough stock of fertilizers. However, the farmers are being deprived of fertilizers. 

“MARKFED outlets at Nischintakoili, Salepur and Mahanga have sufficient stock of fertilizers but farmers are not availing the fertilizers”, said Nischintakoili-based farmer Tubula Das.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has recently urged the Centre to ensure the supply of fertilizer to the State as per its monthly requirement. He also urged the Union government to clear the backlog of the previous months for smooth distribution among the farmers for the ensuing Kharif season.