Buying urea at a premium, say Bihar farmers. BJP blames state govt machinery
Bihar agriculture minister Kumar Sarvajit said urea was about 30% and 36% short in supply in the months of November and October respectively
PATNA: Farmers in Bihar have complained about shortage of urea in the state, saying they are forced to buy the fertiliser at a premium for each bag. They said urea was available for ₹290-325 for a 45-kg bag as against the maximum retail price (MRP) at ₹266.50 but the government insists that there was no shortage.
“We are being made to pay extra owing to short-supply of urea in the district,” said Vijay Kumar Mishra, a farmer of Dhawan village in Bikramganj, claiming that the non-urea-based di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), which is not required now, was available in abundance. He said there was adequate supply of nano urea but farmers preferred the conventional urea.
An agriculture department official said there was a problem in supply of urea and the department has engaged kisan mitras to monitor distribution its distribution.
“More than the supply, it’s about availability of fertilisers at the time of their requirement. DAP is required at the time of sowing wheat and other rabi crops. Urea’s crisis has hit the rural market when it is needed at the time of irrigation of wheat,” said the officer.
Bihar agriculture minister Kumar Sarvajit said Bihar received supply of around 1.91 lakh metric tonne of urea against the demand of 3.30 lakh metric tonne in December. “Urea was about 30% and 36% short in supply in the months of November and October respectively,” said the minister, adding that the crisis has worsened due to delay in supply of imported area.
The Union chemicals and fertilizers ministry allots quota of urea and DAP to different states on subsidy. “While IFFCO’s urea is available to the farmers on MRP, dealers of other fertiliser companies generally force the farmers to buy other products to get urea on the MRP,” said Rakesh Singh, another farmer from Motihari.
Bihar BJP chief and Bettiah MP Sanjay Jaiswal said that there no real shortage of fertilisers in Bihar.
“Farmers are suffering owing to black-marketing of fertilisers. Agriculture department’s officers and fertiliser distributors are hand in gloves to create artificial crisis of urea,” claimed Jaiswal.