Raid on fertiliser hoarders to be intensified

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday directed to the police, vigilance department and district administrations to intensify raids on unscrupulous traders indulging in hoarding and black marketing of fertiliser, and official said at least three such persons had been arrested so far.

Besides the three, criminal cases were initiated against seven other traders for indulging in black marketing of fertiliser during the ongoing kharif season, official sources said.

Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said, so far raids had been conducted on 532 wholesale and 1340 retail points and the state government has cancelled license of 32 dealers on charge of trading fertiliser in irregular manner.

Admitting that some traders were taking advantage of the situation created due to unusual rainfall across the state, Mishra said district collectors were asked to ensure that farmers get fertiliser at the appropriate price and on time.

Following sufficient rainfall during first and second week of August, demand for fertiliser increased as cultivation had earlier been slow due to inadequate rainfall in June and July, he said.

Stating that cultivation was in full swing now, he said the state had already taken up the matter relating to scarcity of fertiliser with the Centre. “I have met the Union Agriculture Minister and Union Fertiliser Minister seeking their help to provide us requisite fertiliser soon,” he said.