Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 17:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested the Centre to enhance the allocation of fertilizers for the state by 75,000 MT.
In a letter addressed to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Monday, the Chief Minister has requested enhancement of fertilizer allocation to state from the present allocation of 10, 00,000 MT for the kharif season to 10, 75,000 MT for safeguarding the interests of the farming community and to give a further boost to agriculture production in the state.
“There is a scope for increasing the food grain production and productivity but this will depend on adequate and timely supply of chemical fertilizers to the state. In this context, I would like to draw your kind attention to the allocation of fertilizers being made in favour of the state over the past few years. The state of Odisha, with an average fertilizer consumption of only 57 kg per hectare, lags much behind the national average of 127 kg per hectare during 2013-14,” said Patnaik in his letter.
The Chief Minister said a comparison of Odisha with states having an equivalent extent of gross cropped area like West Bengal, Bihar and Punjab shows that allocation of fertilizers is much higher in these states. Such discrepancy in the allocation of fertilizers is more pronounced in case of Urea, he added. The Chief Minister has inserted a table showing a comparison of fertilizer allocation, gross cropped area and allocation of Urea to these states to emphasize his point.
“While the allocation of fertilizers itself remains low compared to our demand, we have invariably observed that the state receives only 80% of the Urea allocated to the state during the kharif season. Very often, the supply schedule also fails to match the peak demand period resulting in scarcity of fertilizers which at times also gives rise to law and order situation,” Patnaik complained in the letter.
The Chief Minister pointed out in the letter that the state government had taken several innovative steps for strengthening the fertilizer distribution system in the state, which included the creation of a Rs 100 crore corpus fund for pre-positioning of fertilizers through state agencies like MARKFED and OSAIC. It had also taken steps for construction of new storage godowns at the district level, he added.
All the above measures will certainly help in improving the availability of fertilizers and consumption in the state, Patnaik hoped in the letter.