Odisha urgs Centre to direct fertiliser companies extd credit

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Monday asked the Centre to direct fertiliser companies to extend 45 days credit to cooperative organisations for better distribution of fertiliser among the farmers.

"Instead of leaving it (fertiliser price) to the mercy of the market forces, steps should be taken to maintain a constant price of fertiliser for at least a particular cropping season," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to M K Alagiri, the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Stating that cooperative organisations play a vital role in fertiliser supply chain of the state, Patnaik said they (cooperative bodies) are the bulwark against black marketing by unscrupulous dealers.

"However, the recent directive of the Government of India says that the cooperative organisations should be given only one week`s time for fund mobilisation. This has effectively crippled the cooperative supply chain," Patnaik said.

As IFFCO extends 45 days credit to cooperative societies, it will be definitely better if the private companies also are directed to extend the same duration of credit to cooperative socities, Patnaik said.

"Instead, the government of India`s direction is hampering the fertiliser distribution through the cooperative supply chain in the state," the chief minister added.

"There has been sudden spurt in the prices of fertilisers, especially of de-controlled phosphatic and potassic fertiliser," he said, adding that the prices are also changing very frequently resulting in a chaotic situation in the field.

With farmers facing difficulty in ascertaining the prices of fertilisers, the unscrupulous dealers are taking advantage of the situation and exploiting them, Patnaik wrote in the letter.

He added that because of the skewed prices of phosphatic and potassic fertilisers, the farmers are more inclined to use of nitrogenous fertiliser, particularly urea.

"This is not a healthy sign as such imbalanced use of chemical fertilisers is likely to adversely affect soil health and crop yield," the Chief Minister said.

Patnaik said though the state government had accordingly planned to increase use of fertiliser by the farmers in the line of the Centre`s green revolution in Eastern India, the new fertiliser policy has come as a "bane" for the farming community in the state.