Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): State still faces shortage of fertilisers, according to union government report issued on Saturday. Be it urea or Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP), their availability is less than requirement in the state, a fact which state government has denied.
According to central government report, DAP requirement in state is 640.32 MTs (metric tons) while availability is 562.194 MTs. Urea’s availability is 1162.717 MTs and requirement is 1461.292MTs.
Agriculture department has attributed the shortage of fertilisers to rise in demand after uniform rain received in state.
However, farmers say they do not have enough money to repay loans to cooperative societies they borrowed through Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) with 12 per cent interest after expiry of grace period of six months in pandemic time. Farmers have demanded extension of grace period for full one year.
Director, agriculture, Preeti Mathil refused to comment on the shortage whereas chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has asked collectors to streamline distribution system of fertilisers.
Farmer Dr Rajesh Sharma said farmers who took loan from cooperative societies became defaulters during pandemic time as they could not sell agriculture produce in mandi in April-June due to lockdown.
During grace period, farmers do not need to pay interest rate for six months. But after it, cooperative societies charge 12 per cent interest rate for whole year.
The farmers are not in position to repay loan with 12 per cent interest for procurement of fertilisers from cooperative societies. Even if farmers repay, cooperative society immediately does not sanction loan. “So, it is financial burden for farmers. Secondly, there is shortage of fertilisers for farmers who are not defaulters,” Dr Sharma added.
The DAP costs Rs 1,200 per sack at cooperative societies. In open market, it costs Rs 1,800 per sack. Similarly, urea costs Rs 267 per sack while in open market it costs up to Rs 500 per sack.
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