In an oblique reference to allegations levelled by Congress leaders Sharan Prakash Patil and Priyank Kharge, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Bhagawanth Khuba has said that the district has enough stock of fertilizer and sowing seeds required for the kharif season.
“There is enough stock of fertilizer and seeds in the district. Farmers need not worry. The Union Government has, in April itself, made arrangements to supply fertilizer to every State as per requirement. It got indents from the States before April 15 and subsequently, supplied fertilizer to all States,” Mr. Khuba said.
He was addressing a public meeting after inaugurating a soil testing lab of Mumbai-based Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited at Aland in Kalaburagi district on Sunday.
Dr. Sharan Prakash Patil, who is Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president, and Mr. Priyank Kharge, a KPCC spokesperson, had, on Thursday, said that the district is facing a severe shortage of fertilizer that has forced farmers to run from pillar to post to get a bag of DAP and criticised the administration for lack of preparedness.
“The cost of production for each bag of DAP is between ₹3,200 and ₹4,200. But, our Government is selling it at ₹1,350. Urea is being sold at ₹266 a bag. The Government is offering 80% subsidy, which is around ₹2,50,000 crore, on fertilizer,” Mr. Khuba said.
Pointing at difficulties in fertilizer production in China and the United States caused by the disruptions in the supply of raw material due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Mr. Khuba said that fertilizer production in India remained unaffected by the war due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives for achieving self-reliance.
“No farmer should purchase fertilizer in the black market. If anybody is found selling fertilizer in the black market, please alert the Agriculture Department officials,” Mr. Khuba said and called upon farmers to get their soil tested and use fertilizer accordingly.
Aland MLA Subhash Guttedar, who presided over the public meeting, expressed concern over labour shortage caused by Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme affecting agriculture activities in rural areas. He appealed to the Minister to raise the issue in Parliament.
Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited Director (Marketing) K.U. Thankachen, Associate Professor (Soil) Bellakki, Joint Director of Agriculture Ritendranath Sugur, Kalaburagi Agriculture College Dean Mahalingappa Dhanoji and other senior officers were present.