Fertiliser companies have raised the prices of potash and phosphatic nutrients citing higher raw material prices.
Companies such as IFFCO, India Potash Ltd. and Paradeep Phosphates Ltd. have announced a hike or their intention to review prices. Farmers’ organisations have opposed the hike, saying it could increase their input costs and, in turn, lead to inflation.
Though the hike in fertiliser prices could result in higher inputs cost for farmers, it remains to be seen if the Centre will cover the hike in its fertiliser subsidies to the growers. It is likely to announce a nutrient-based subisdy for the current fiscal before sowing for the Kharif season begins. Fertilisers account for the second highest expenditure for farmers after diesel. Fertiliser companies attribute the rising trend in farm nutrient prices to the hardening of raw material prices globally and also due to the availability issues.
On Thursday, IFFCO announced 58.33 per cent hike in the DAP prices to ₹1,900 per 50 kg bag and up to 60 per cent hike in other phosphatic fertilisers of multiple grades to ₹1,350-1,800 per 50 kg bag.
IFFCO, however, stated that it will sell 11.26 lakh tonnes of complex fertiliser at old rates only. “New rates are not for sale in market to farmers. The prices of complex fertilisers mentioned by IFFCO are only tentative.
US Awasthi, Managing Director & CEO, IFFCO, said: “We will ensure that there is enough material in the market at old rates and I have instructed the IFFCO marketing team to sell only previously packed material with old rates to farmers. We always take decision by keeping farmer first approach.”
Farmer body Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) objected to the hike and subsequent rise in input costs compounded further by a rise in fuel costs. This would act as a deterrent to achieve doubling of farm income objective, it said.