R. Vimal Kumar

"Demand-supply position being monitored periodically"

Tuticorin: The Department of Agriculture has made elaborate arrangements to stock an adequate quantity of fertilizers during the kharif season that ends by September.

Speaking to The Hindu , S. Shahul Hameed, Joint-director of Agriculture, said 257 fertilizer outlets in the district have stocked 515 tonnes of urea (requirement is 2,300 tonnes), 225 tonnes of di-ammonium phosphate (2,494), 510 tonnes of murate of potash (3,830), 220 tonnes of super phosphate (655) and 400 tonnes of complex fertilizers (4,100), which far exceeded the requirement till July 31.

Of the total fertilizer outlets, 166 were retail outlets run by the private sector, 73 were in the co-operative sector and the remainder being private wholesale shops.

Mr. Hameed said steps had been taken to ensure that fertilizers were sold at prices fixed by the government. On the prices of fertilizers sold in 50-kg bags, he said urea was sold at Rs. 251.27 a bag, di-ammonium phosphate at Rs. 486.51, super phosphate at Rs. 162.81 and complex fertilizers at prices in the range of Rs. 369.64 to Rs. 471.74.

He said the department was monitoring the demand-supply position periodically to ensure that farmers did not face shortage.

License suspended

Mr. Hameed said license of 12 private outlets were suspended over the last few days under Fertilizer Control Order, 1985, after anomalies were found in distribution. "Sales of stock worth Rs. 1.5 lakh in those shops were frozen, till enquiry is over."

He said those shops were either selling fertilizers above government-fixed prices or the quantity was less.