Comptroller and Auditor General of India has pointed out unrealistic assessment of fertilizer requirement for agricultural field in State.
According to draft CAG report which was submitted to State government soliciting its response, farmers were never involved in making assessment of fertilizers for different seasons.
“Though the assessment of fertilizer requirement at the district-level was finalised after a strategy committee meeting held by the district Collector in the presence of representatives of different fertilizer manufactures, the directorate of agriculture that consolidated the assessment, projected the State’s requirement by adding 5 to 10 per cent of quantity to previous year’s consumption,” says the draft report.
It says the strategy committee was not represented by anybody from farmers’ community. Moreover, soil testing reports aimed at understanding use of balanced doses of fertilizers as per the soil health condition were not considered while preparing the assessment of fertilizers.
The CAG had carried out audit in 10 blocks of five districts such as Bolangir, Jagatsinghpur, Nuapada, Jharsuguda and Mayurbjhanj.
There has been great degree of variation between actual consumption and assessment made on fertilizer requirement.
In 2008-09, the strategy committee had evaluated 13,69,370 metric tonne of fertilizer for the State. However, in that year, farmers consumed 10,52,232 mt, which was 23 per cent less consumption against assessment. Similarly, in the previous year (2007-08), the committee projected consumption of 11,43,700 mt, against which only 9,09,859 mt fertilizer could be consumed. Again consumption was off-target by 20 per cent.
Odisha has 30 districts with a total geographical area of 1,55,707 sq km. The cropped area is about 57.37 lakh hectares.
Rice, pulses, oil seeds, jute, roselle, sugarcane, coconut and turmeric are important crops while cash crops such as cotton and rubber are also grown. The State contributes one-tenth of the rice production of country.