Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 18:
For a smooth and timely supply of fertilizers to the farmers in the state, Odisha government has urged the Centre to open three new rake points, make provision for two point rakes in six places and develop infrastructure in the existing rake points.
In a letter to Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Ananth Kumar, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said that lack of the required number of railway rake points is a major stumbling block in timely supply of the required quantity of fertilizers to the farmers, especially during the peak period. Apart from this, the state is also facing operational difficulties in the existing 21 rake points due to inadequate infrastructure facilities. Besides, the state government has proposed the establishment of three new rake points at Bamur (Angul), Rengali (Sambalpur) and Dunguripalli (Subarnapur) and provision of two point rakes in six places.
“Timely availability of fertilizers with farmers in adequate quantity plays a vital role in increasing production and productivity of agricultural crops. Although there has been some improvement in use of chemical fertilizers in the state, the consumption of fertilizers in the past five years has remained constant around 60 Kg/Ha, which is below the national average of about 140 Kg/Ha. With coverage of increased area under high yielding and hybrid varieties, there is a need for enhancing the consumption level of fertilizers, both chemical and organic, to ensure sustainable crop production and higher productivity. Keeping this in view, the state government has made a programme to increase the fertilizer consumption to a level of 90 Kg/Ha, in the next 5 years,” Patnaik said.
Patnaik further said the state government had taken various steps such as the provision of corpus funds for state agencies, namely Odisha State Cooperative Marketing Federation (MARKFED) and Odisha Agro Industries Corporation (OAIC) for pre-positioning of fertilizers. Besides, the state had also taken steps for construction of godowns at the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) level for pre-positioning of fertilizers in order to make fertilizers available to the farmers of the state in time.
“All such steps will require handling of a huge quantity of different chemical fertilizers at various points in the state since the chemical fertilizers are made available to the state at present from factories located at far off places like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and also through ports, mostly In Andhra Pradesh and also through ports mostly in Andhra Pradesh. To ensure smooth supply of fertilizers to various places in the state, we need to have a sufficient number of railway rake points,” he stressed.