Prices increase six times this kharif forcing farmers to spend an additional Rs. 1,000 crore
Increase in the prices of all fertilizers except urea six times during the current kharif season has burdened the farming community in the State by about Rs. 1,000 crore additionally.
It is likely to add to the production cost heavily coupled with the increase in other input costs like seed, labour charges, diesel and pesticides. Scanty rainfall in about 350 mandals resulting in lesser crop coverage by about 10 lakh hectares and erratic power supply during the last one month have also compounded the problems of farmers further this season.
Decontrolled pricing policy for all fertilizers except urea under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme from April 1, 2010 has almost doubled the prices of all complex fertilizers and DAP. Irrespective of their shortage during the crucial crop periods, the sale of fertilizers was normal during kharif as about 39 lakh tonnes of all varieties were sold.
“The State government has no control or say over fertilizer prices and the Centre is considering decontrolling urea pricing too,” a top official of the Agriculture Department told The Hindu .
According to statistics available with the Agriculture Department, about 39 lakh tonnes of fertilizers were sold in the kharif season including 16 lakh tonnes of urea, 5 lakh tonnes of DAP, 11 lakh tonnes of complex, and 7 lakh tonnes of MoP and others.
“Farmers have coughed up over Rs. 150 crore additional amount on DAP alone as its price has gone up by an average of Rs. 100 per bag of 50 kg during the season,” the official said.
Similarly, prices of complex fertilizers have gone up by a minimum of Rs. 170 per bag during kharif involving an additional investment of over Rs. 650 crore.
“In spite of many committees and commissions suggesting reduction in cost of cultivation, the governments have allowed increase in all input costs. It will only force the farmers to leave their profession in the years to come,” K. Ramakrishna, president of Andhra Pradesh Ryotu Sangham said.