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Rashmi Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: Acute shortage of fertiliser at the peak of Kharif crop season has hit the farmers hard by adversely affecting their agricultural work across the State. Amid Covid pandemic, farmers in several districts of the State fear that they might have to bear huge losses this season due to the shortage of fertiliser.

Farmers from Sundargarh, Ganjam and Mayurbhanj have alleged that they are forced to buy fertiliser at inflated rates from the open market due to shortage of stocks at Large Area Multi-Purpose Societies (LAMPS).

Hundreds of farmers in Sundargarh’s Bonai area were seen sitting in line waiting for their turn to buy fertiliser. However, despite waiting for hours, they returned empty-handed due to the shortage of fertiliser.

Farmers in Buguda and Polsara area of Ganjam also gheraoed the office of the local agriculture officer’s and sat on a dharna protesting against the shortage of fertiliser in the district. The farmers also alleged hoarding of fertiliser.

On the other hand, the unavailability of urea in Mayurbhanj has left the farmers in dismay. Commenting on scarcity of fertiliser, district assistant registrar said the issue will be resolved within next 15 days.

“We had placed an order of 32,000 quintals of fertiliser but have so far received 15,718 quintals of it. I hope we will get the remaining amount of fertiliser within 15 to 20 days,” said Damayanti Singh, district assistant registrar.

Asked about it, State Cooperation minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said all efforts are being made to address the farmers’ issue.

“As Kharif crop needs sufficient urea, the State government is taking all necessary steps to provide fertiliser to the farmers. MARKFED has provided 1, 17,550 metric tons of urea to all the 30 districts this year,” Swain tweeted.

On Friday, Union Fertiliser Minister Mansukh Mandaviya stated that the Centre is committed to ensure uninterrupted supply of fertilizers to Odisha while responding to Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s request seeking immediate redressal of the shortage of urea fertiliser in the State.

Pradhan had earlier sought the intervention of the Union Minister after the matter was raised by Balbhadra Majhi, ex-MP from Nabarangpur.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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