Urea vs Water

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What they need now is monsoon rains or irrigated water, and not subsidized Urea. Can one perform miracles on the parched and cracked agricultural fields with Urea without water?

Yet, we smell something in the crazy decision of the government? Is there a conspiracy behind the decision??

Who is going to benefit from subsidizing Urea fertilizer? It needs to be investigated.

 Urea vs Water 

The recent decision to subsidize Urea fertilizer in the wake of ‘drought’ situation in the state is a joke to the farmers of the state by Manipur government. This reveals the lack of concern among top political leaders over the plight of the farmers and the rising costs of agricultural activities in the state. While the market is being flooded with cheap imported rice, the farmers of the state are struggling to keep the price of paddy and local rice at the optimum level. This has been a major headache for the farmers , as wages of agricultural labourers and the costs of maintaining the fields have have risen in recent times.

In such a scenario the recent government to make available Urea bags at Rs 278.80 per bag by providing additional transport subsidy is in fact a joke to the plight of the farmers.

The recent cabinet meeting had decided to provide a transport cum storage subsidy on Urea fertilizer amounting to Rs 4.27 crore in the current year in view of the low rainfall and impending drought like condition this year.The decision had further said that Urea fertilizer will be made available to distressed farmers across the state at Rs 278.80 per bag of 50kgs during the current Kharif season.

The district agricultural officials will oversee the distribution of fertilizers in their districts to ensure sale of Urea at the notified price. It also said that the government is closely monitoring the rainfall pattern and status in the State and will take further actions as necessary to support the farming community. According to the officials of agriculture department, only 56 percent of the total agricultural land in the state is cultivable.

The total area of paddy fields in both hill and valley regions is 2,13,280 hectares, however only 1,20,348 hectares of paddy fields are cultivable in the state. Nursery paddy plants have been planted only in 1,18,629 hectares while paddy seeds have just begun to sprout in 1719 hectares. The worst affected districts of the state are Thoubal and Bisnnupur.

About 33 percent of the total paddy fields in Thoubal and 23 percent paddy fields in Bishnupur could bear fruits while the rest have been rendered futile. Though the state had witnessed adequate rainfall in the previous years 2010 and 2011, the state is now in a drought-like condition with the total annual rainfall of this year short of 313.22 mm than the normal range. The normal rainfall in 2009 was 1435.60 mm while the annual rainfall was only 992.60 mm. The deficit rainfall in 2009 was 443 mm. The drought status can be declared if the annual rainfall does not reach 75 percent of the normal rainfall. The present rainfall in the state is much less than 75 percent. The state cabinet had mentioned ‘distress’ in relation to the agricultural farmers as against the decision to subsidize fertilizer. This clearly reflects the lack of knowledge of the government on the problems of the agriculture farmers.

What they need now is monsoon rains or irrigated water, and not subsidized Urea. Can one perform miracles on the parched and cracked agricultural fields with Urea without water?

Yet, we smell something in the crazy decision of the government? Is there a conspiracy behind the decision??

Who is going to benefit from subsidizing Urea fertilizer? It needs to be investigated.

Again there is a trouble brewing in the Agriculture department with the Minister openly speaking against the Agriculture Director. There can certainly be differences of opinion between the minister and the officials, but it should not come out in the open. But now that it has come out, it also smells of another conspiracy by some officials against the Director who is set to retire in 6 months. Still, the controversy reflects the immaturity of the young Agriculture minister who had chosen to cross swords with the Director in the open.

On the other hand everyone knows that some officials of the department have been flirting with the media.

They do not care about the woes of the farmer while they are busy basking in the lens of media photographers and videos. This must be stopped at all costs.

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