S. Rajendran

Of the allocation of 1.37 lakh tonnes of DAP, State has received only 40,000 tonnes

Requirement for kharif cultivation is 20.92 lakh tonnes

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Government is facing a serious crisis on the fertilizer front with several companies reportedly indicating that they were not in a position to meet the State’s demand.

The manufacturers have told the State Government’s representatives that though the fertilizer allocation to the State is made by the Centre, they will not be able to meet the direction owing to various factors.

The sources in the State Government told The Hindu that representatives of fertilizer companies had stated that owing to various reasons (primarily the delay in payment of subsidy due to them), they would not be able to give any assurance on fertilizer supply.

Single fertilizer unit

There is only one fertilizer manufacturing unit in the State — Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers. And for all complex fertilizers, Karnataka is dependent on units located in other States.

The sources said that the State had received less than 50 per cent of the quota allocated to it and “it is highly unlikely that the situation will improve. For instance, of the total allocation of 1.37 lakh tonnes of DAP [di ammonium phosphate], we have received 40,000 tonnes, and another 25,000 tonnes will be received soon. It is a serious situation, and it is the Centre which is responsible.” The State’s requirement of fertilizers for kharif cultivation was 20.92 lakh tonnes and the supply was poor, they added.

Meanwhile, the number of suicide cases involving farmers in the State has entered the double-digit for a calendar month after a gap of one year. In the first 20 days of the current month, 17 farmers have committed suicide, and the fertilizer crisis has added a new dimension to this problem. The suicide cases have been reported from Hassan (five), Dharwad (one), Shimoga (one), Davangere (2), Gulbarga (three), Koppal (three) and Bagalkot districts (two).

Top officials of the State Government have been holding talks with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and he has appealed to farmers to cooperate. “Manufacture and supply of fertilizers are not under the purview of the State Government. We can only distribute the supplies made to us. I am in touch with the Union Government and have also brought the serious situation to the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ramvilas Paswan.”