Though the state government had to face a number of protests and road blockades by farmers against the alleged shortage and poor supply of urea, yet the shortage of this much- needed fertiliser will not have any adverse impact on the production of wheat crop in the state.
Agriculture experts and farmers are of the view that the bumper production of wheat in the state is likely this year again, thanks to suitable weather conditions.
"No doubt, the crop is very healthy and we will achieve the set target of producing more than 165lakh metric tonnes (MTs) of wheat this year", said Punjab agriculture director Mangal Singh Sandu, while talking to the Hindustan Times.
Sandhu, however, denied shortage of urea in the state saying, "There was no shortage of urea as we had supplied 1.5lakh MT more urea than that of the last year. A hue and cry was created by the people, who wanted to politicise the issue. If there was a shortage of urea, then the crop is healthy and the production (per hectare) is likely to surpass the production of the last year."
Agriculture experts said that there are also no reports of yellow rust so far, as sowing was advanced by 15-20 days this year, if the ongoing cold conditions last for the next 20 days, there will be a bumper wheat crop this year.
"As of now, the crop is in a good condition. We don't think that the so-called shortage of urea had left any impact on the crop," said Rajinder Singh Sohi, chief agriculture officer, Sangrur. "The agriculture department has formed block-level teams of the scientists to monitor the growth of the crop and they are holding meetings with the farmers," he added.
However, farmers are still alleging that the government had failed to supply the required quantity of urea during the first month, which delayed the first and second dose of urea.
"The supply of urea was delayed at time of first and second doses. We cannot see our crop dying and we had to manage by purchasing urea at higher prices," said Niranjan Singh, state secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajowal).
"A bumper crop is likely this year, but this is the result of restless efforts and hard work of the farmers," he added.
According to the state agriculture department, this year the acreage under wheat crop has fallen to 35lakh hectare from 35.12 lakh hectare last year, and the state government has set a target of producing more than 165lakh MT wheat against 169lakh MT last year.