State farmers to send memo to Union Agri minister on fertiliser crisis

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IMPHAL, July 15: Several farmers’ organizations have stated that they will be submitting a memorandum to the union agriculture minister soon apprising him of the difficulties being faced by the farmers due to the state government’s failure to provide fertilizers at subsidized rates.
This was conveyed by leaders of the farmers’ bodies at a press meet organized by All Manipur Progressive Farmers’ Association at Manipur Press Club this afternoon.
The ire of the farmers mainly stemmed from the realization that nearly Rs two crore have been sanctioned by the central government to the state for the purpose of subsidization of fertilizers. Apparently, the money has not been utilized till now.
Moreover, although the fertilizers, which are sparingly available for purchase at authorized dealers, agents, and sub-agents, are being sold openly in the markets.
The farmers have questioned as to how the fertilizers which sale are controlled by government have landed in the hands of private traders. They have lamented that if similar trend continues for other items as well, the state is absolutely going to face surge in prices of rice and even aggravate to a situation where it will no longer be available for purchase.
Taking strong objections to his role in creating the current fertilizer crisis and his inability to address it, they demanded that the state agricultural minister Ph. Parijat steps down from his post.
Expressing strong discontentment, Y. Ratan of Apunba Manipur Loumi Singmi Lup said that the involvement of politicians in fertilizer distributions is the main challenge of the state farmers. He alleged that in spite of taking the service of dealers, agents and sub-agents in the distribution of the fertilizers, the minister had intervened so that need of his workers and acquaintances are taken care of first.
He also said that even the state government that had officially announced subsidization of fertilizers have not put it into action till now. The fertilisers which was supposed to be available at Rs. 420 (after subsidy) per 50 kg bag are sold at Rs. 520 by authorized state dealers, even which is also not easily available, he maintained. He heaped criticisms on the minister alleging that the price of the fertilizers is determined by him in collusion with dealers close to him.
L. Ranjit of Young Farmer’s Association has said that nearly 20,000 metric tones of fertilizer are needed by the farmers in the state annually. The state government has already been allotted the same volume for distribution. But, so far only 14000 metric tones have made it to the market. He questioned the whereabouts of the 6000 metric tones that have not be accounted for adding that such disappearance of fertilizers stock had been a recurring phenomenon in the state.

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