Andhra Pradesh

Shortage of DAP fertilizer worries paddy farmers in State

Paddy farmers use about 40 kg of DAP per acre and if need be, 20 kg more for a second application, says Agriculture Department.  

The acute shortage of diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer in the State appears to affect paddy cultivation. The crop is being cultivated in more than 12 lakh hectares in the State this kharif . Even as the Agriculture Department maintains that there is no shortage of the DAP, the farmers are claiming that it is in short supply.

According to information, the DAP used to be sold at ₹50 to ₹70 more than the MRP of ₹1,200 till a few days ago and the supplies not matching the demand were cited as the reason. Even as a farmer wants to buy the fertilizer at higher prices, the DAP is not available in the open market or at the Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) , sources say adding that the shortage is likely to affect the paddy cultivation.

Centre’s directive

The officials attribute the shortage to the Central government’s directives. The fertilizer companies have been asked not to increase the maximum retail price (MRP) of non-urea fertilizers such as DAP. Instead, they have been suggested to look for alternatives such as single superphosphate and bio-fertilizer rather than importing expensive ingredients, considering the spike in their prices in the global market.

“The Centre gives fixed subsidies to the fertilizer companies which feel that it is not sufficient. So, they have scaled down the DAP production that hit the supplies,” explains a senior functionary on the condition of anonymity.

Sources in the Agriculture Department say that the farmers use about 40 kg of DAP per acre. If need be, in the second application 20 kg is used.

The transplantation of paddy is nearly completed in most parts of the Krishna Eastern Delta and the Godavari Delta, while the operations are under way in the Krishna Western delta, KC Canal, NSP, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. The farmers under these ayacuts and districts need DAP for the first application, and for second application in some cases.

The government has set a target of 15.99 lakh hectares for paddy cultivation this kharif season. Of this, the crop was sown in 12.19 lakh hectares as on September 1, sources say.

Agriculture Commissioner H. Arun Kumar says that the State government has been monitoring the supplies regularly. “The issue has been brought to the notice of the Union government. A consignment of the fertilizer has been received at Krishnapatnam port. Efforts are being made to ensure adequate stocks at the RBKs,” he says.

‘Buffer stock available’

However, Agriculture Minister K. Kanna Babu says that sufficient buffer stocks are available.

“There is a pressure on the supplies of DAP as the cost of complex fertilizers is high when compared to the DAP. Two rakes of DAP were received at Kakinada two days ago. It is being supplied through the RBKs. The farmers need not panic,” says the Minister.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 10:15:04 AM |

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