Centre urged to ensure adequate fertilizer supply

Farmers in distress due to shortage: Minister

The Agriculture Department has sought the urgent intervention of the Centre to ensure adequate fertilizer supplies, pointing out that acute shortage has pushed farmers in the State into distress.

Agriculture Minister P. Prasad presented the State’s case at a meeting of State Agriculture Ministers convened by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday.

Kerala banks on judicious fertilizer application and an integrated approach to nutrient management for agricultural expansion given the presence of distinct ecological zones, diverse crops and limited land availability. However, in the past few months, the State had not been receiving even its allotted quantity of fertilizers.

Farmers were in distress due to fertilizer shortage as the rabi crop had already been raised. They were already battling hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural calamities, Mr. Prasad said.

Allocation so far

The State’s allocation for November is as follows — 6,300 MT urea, 3,000 MT diammonium phosphate (DAP), 9,000 MT muriate of potash (MOP) and 14,650 MT complex fertilizers. As on Tuesday, the State had received only 2,981 MT urea, 87 MT DAP, 1,300 MT MOP and 4,353 MT of complex fertilizers. This was way short of the State’s requirement, Mr. Prasad said.

In November 2020, the fertilizer usage in the State was as follows — 11,206 MT of urea, 2,579 MT DAP and 11,608 MT MOP. The data revealed the plight of the farmers due to the shortfall in fertilizers, the Minister said.

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