Farmers carry sugarcanes in Jabalpur on Tuesday Photograph:( ANI )
Several states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh are facing a severe shortage of fertilizers mainly of Di-ammonium Phosphate. DAP is a preferred fertiliser containing nitrogen and phosphorus that are the primary nutrients for crops. It is used before the sowing season arrives
As farmers rush to plant rabi winter crops as chill sets in northern India, several states across the country are reporting a massive shortage of fertiliser, threatening to disrupt their planting season.
Several states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh are facing a severe shortage of fertilizers mainly of Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP), according to media reports.
DAP is a preferred fertiliser containing nitrogen and phosphorus that are the primary nutrients for crops. It is used before the sowing season arrives.
The government provides subsidies for farmers by compensating the companies that sell fertilisers at market rates.
Farmers primarily plant mustard, potato, garlic, chickpea, red lentil, green peas, cumin and coriander during October, when the winter starts to set in northern India. The peak demand for fertilisers comes during the November-December period, when rabi crops wheat and onion are sown.
Several videos have emerged on social media showing hundreds of farmers standing in long queues, with some of them claiming they had been waiting for hours for a sack of fertilizer.
Meanwhile, the government has denied any shortage of fertiliser.
Terming the reports of a fertiliser shortage as “rumours”, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya appealed to farmers not to “hoard” fertilisers.
Last week Punjab’s Agriculture Minister Randeep Singh Nabha had met Mandaviya and raised the issue of shortage of fertilisers in the state.
Mandaviya assured to supply 10 rakes of DAP, five rakes of NPK (complex fertiliser) and two rakes of single super phosphate to the state.
The total requirement of DAP for rabi crops in Punjab is 5.50 lakh tonnes. Out of this, 4.80 lakh tonnes is required during October and November for timely sowing of the wheat crop.
Earlier, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar blamed the shortage of DAP fertiliser on fluctuations in international prices.
“There is a slight shortage of DAP fertiliser because we import it and the prices have also gone up. When DAP prices had increased in the last season, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a decision to provide it at a subsidised rate of Rs 1,200 per bag to reduce the burden on farmers. Now, prices have increased globally and it has been decided that the fertiliser would be provided at a subsidised rate of Rs 1,650 per bag,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)