MLAs worried over fertiliser scarcity in state

Bhubaneswar: Cutting across party lines members of state Assembly on Wednesday expressed concern over the fertiliser scarcity in the state and demanded immediate supply of chemical nutrients at affordable prices.

The issue was raised during zero hour in assmebly where members of both treasury bench and opposition said the farmers were not getting adequate fertiliser which could affect agricultural productivity.

While BJD member Amar Prasad Satpathy sought a statement from the agriculture minister over the fertiliser scarcity, BJP legislator Jaynarayan Mishra demanded a special debate over the issue.

"There has been three-fold increase in the prices of fertiliser. While the state government and centre have entered into a blame game, the farmers are at the receiving end. The unscrupulous traders are taking benefit out of it," said Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan demanding a full fledged debate over the issues.

Former minister and BJD member Pratap Jena too admitted the prices of fertiliser have gone up three times.

The entire house expressed concern over the issue and demanded that the farmers must get fertiliser at proper time as any delay in supply could damage crop prospect of kharif cultivation.

While replying a question, Revnue and Disaster Minister S N Patro said the state experienced monsoon rain on June 19 instead of usual rainfall during the first week of June. "The cultivation activities have been delayed in the state due to late monsoon," Patro said.

The minister, however, said that the state government would take steps to give assistance to farmers and declare drought as per the relief code when it received crop loss report from district collectors.

Admitting that there was inadequate rainfall in the month of June and July, the minister said the situation improved at many places due to good rainfall in August. "The collectors had been asked to keep a vigil on the situation due to deficit rainfall," the minister informed the assembly through a written reply.