IMPHAL, July 4: The agriculture department has fixed the price of urea fertilizer at Rs 520 per bag and it will further provide a subsidy of Rs 100 per bag to the farmers of the state.
Speaking to mediapersons today at his office chamber, the state agriculture minister, Ph Parijat stated that the agents who sell the fertilizers at more than the rate fixed by the state government will be penalized. The agriculture department has opened a 24×7 control room under the supervision of one assistant fertilizer officer.
Any person having credible information of agents selling fertilizers at an excess rate or in the black market can inform the department officials on the control room mobile number 9615316278, he said.
The state cabinet has also approved Rs two crores for providing subsidy of Rs 100 per bag of fertilizer to the farmers. However, the department is yet to get the sanction for the subsidy. The farmers are advised to procure the fertilizers collectively through the MLA or other local representatives so that they can avail the subsidy easily later on, the minister asserted.
He further said that the state is facing shortage of fertilizers due to the deplorable condition of the national highways and frequent bandhs and blockades on these highways.
Another reason for the failure to procure the fertilizers timely is non-release of fund before the advent of monsoon. Usually funds are released in the month of June-July and so there is delay in the transportation of fertilizers, Parijat stated.
The total annual requirement of fertilizers in the state is 15000 metric tones and so far 5000 metric tones have been transported during June-July. The Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizers Corporation Limited (BVFCL), Namrup, has been supplying the fertilizers to the state but due to mechanical failure in its Plant No. 3, the fertilizer production has stopped all of a sudden and it will take more than one month to get repaired. He himself had inspected the fertilizer plant, the agriculture minister said.
In this regard, the state chief secretary has asked the ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers to make arrangement to transport the fertilizers from some other plant so as to meet the requirement of fertilizers in time. Thereupon, the central ministry has intimated the state government to transport the required fertilizers from the Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Guwahati, he noted.
The transportation of the remaining 9000 metric tones of fertilizers will soon begin from Silchar and the demands of the farmers will be fulfilled within a short period of time, he stated.
As of now there are 10000 bags of fertilizers available in the stock and there are 45 fertilizer dealers. However, only 20 dealers are functioning properly, Parijat noted.