Telangana swings into action after acute urea shortage hits farmers

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on September 13, 2019

With reports of severe shortage of urea emerging from different parts of the State, the Telangana government has swung into action. Farmers’ unions alleged that the State had failed to make a proper assessment of the urea requirement for the season and keep ready stock.

“Farmers need urea as the State received late rains this season. You need it around August-September. The government should have anticipated the demand and asked for the stocks from the Centre accordingly,” Sarampally Malla Reddy of Telangana Rythu Sangham said.

On an average, the State requires about 8.5 lakh tonnes of urea in the kharif season. But, according to farmers, there is just 4.5-6 lakh tonnes available.

“When rains arrived late in the State, the farmers needed more urea. But the government is not prepared,” Reddy told BusinessLine. “The government’s failure resulted in the acute shortage of urea, forcing hundreds of farmers to stand in queues in the last two weeks.”

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has directed the officials to take immediate measures to source the fertiliser and supply it to the villages. Agriculture Department officials argued that the demand for urea was in fact lesser. “In the last four years, the demand for urea was at 6 lakh tonnes a year. By August end, it reached farmers,” a senior official said.

Traders and private companies have not procured fertilisers in large quantities because of the Centre’s decision to supply it under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) method. “Keeping in view demand from the farmers, the Agriculture Department has placed orders for urea procurement with several private companies. The shipments are on the way,” an official said.

The CM, who held a review meeting last week, asked the South Central Railway to provide special wagons to transport the fertiliser from the ports. Besides, he asked the officials to hire 3,000 trucks to transport the fertiliser from the ports.

Published on September 13, 2019

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