To avert a crisis in the supply of fertilizers to farmers, the State Government has asked the Union Government to ensure supply of 24.65 lakh tonnes of nutrients during the kharif season.
With pre-monsoon showers lashing the State, farmers have commenced sowing of pulses, oilseeds, maize, cotton and potato in Chamarajanagar, Mysore, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Dharwad, Bijapur, Belgaum and Haveri districts.
Following the increased demand for fertilizers, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has urged Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri to ensure adequate supply of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) to the State during the kharif 2011.
The Union Government has allocated 6.15 lakh tonnes of DAP, 2.90 lakh tonnes of muriate of potash (MOP), 6.30 lakh tonnes of NPK and eight lakh tonnes of urea to the State for kharif 2011.
Officials in the Agriculture Department said that a detailed plan on the requirement of different varieties of fertilizers during the kharif season had been submitted to the Union Ministry for Agriculture and Union Ministry for Chemicals and Fertilizers.
The officials said that the State required 2.10 lakh tonnes of nutrients, 2.65 lakh tonnes, 4.36 lakh tonnes, 5.14 lakh tonnes, 5.16 lakh tonnes and 5.21 lakh tonnes of nutrients in April, May, June, July, August and September, respectively. Though the Union Government has allocated fertilizers to the State every month based on the requirement, there has been short supply, particularly DAP. The supply of DAP was 1,57,895 tonnes against the allocation of 2,48,910 tonnes during the last four months. The actual requirement of the State was 1.80 lakh tonnes.
For instance, in December last the Union Government supplied 33,507 tonnes of DAP against the allocation of 43000 tonnes. The allocation in January, February and March was 85,150, 83,300 and 37,460 tonnes while the supply was 57,827 tonnes, 45,949 tonnes and 20,612 tonnes, respectively, the officials said.
The requirement of DAP for pulses and other horticultural crops such as coffee, arecanut, coconut was essential during pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons. “It has come to my notice through the Department of Agriculture that the indigenous production of DAP and also importing of DAP have not taken place due to escalation in the cost of phosphoric acid in the international market and non-finalisation of the fertilizer import policy,” the Chief Minister has said in his letter to the Union Government. Due to shortfall in the supply of DAP, the farmers have not been supplied the required quantity of fertilizers in time. “Continued short supply will create panic among farmers and may lead to law and order problems,” Mr. Yeddyurappa has said.
The Union Government was urged to give more allocation to the fertilizer manufacturers/importers capable of supplying fertilizers as per allocation.
The department has set a sowing target of 74 lakh hectares during kharif 2011. It has set a target of producing 140 lakh tonnes of foodgrains during the kharif, rabi and summer crop seasons of 2011-12.
The States have also been asked to keep a strict vigil on diversion of fertilizers for non-agricultural uses.
There are about 78 lakh farmers in the State. About eight lakh tonnes of seeds of different crops will be required during the kharif season.