Special Correspondent

Officials advised to publicise phone numbers of the cell

Farmers can approach the cell to air their grievances

CHENNAI: The Agriculture Department has set up special cells to monitor the availability of fertilizers throughout the State.

They are functioning at the district and State level since June 16.

An official release stated that district authorities had been advised to publicise the phone numbers of the cell so that farmers could approach it and air their grievances. The Assistant Director (Quality Control) would take corrective steps on a “war footing.”

At the office of the Agriculture Commissioner, the Deputy Director (Fertilizer) is overseeing the situation.

The release stated that 50,486 tonnes of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) was available, against the requirement of 30,000 tonnes in June. So far, 22,456 tonnes had been distributed.

Agriculture Secretary Surjit K. Chaudhary has advised the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Marketing Federation to ensure that every primary agricultural cooperative society in the districts should have adequate stock, and that availability of fertilizers should be displayed.

Against the backdrop of the opening of the Mettur dam for irrigation and commencement of kuruvai cultivation, the Secretary held a meeting a week ago with fertilizer manufacturers, district officials and farmers’ representatives from the Cauvery delta districts to discuss the availability of fertilizers. He urged the manufacturers to hasten the movement of fertilizers from ports to districts and the department officials to monitor the movement on a daily basis.

The release stated that the Centre was being constantly asked to obtain the required quantity of fertilizers for July. The Secretary had requested officials of his department to educate farmers on optimum and judicious use of fertilizers, and promote the System of Rice Intensification extensively to obtain a higher yield with minimum cost.

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