Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Divert fertilizer to dry land areas, Demands Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government divert available fertilizer stocks in the State to dry land farming areas, crack its whip on business people who have jacked up prices and officials who colluded with them.

Talking to the media, party leaders Bandaru Ramamohana Rao and V. Laxman Balaji said the Government had failed in anticipating the demand for fertilizer in the context of copious rains and arranging for its timely supply. For instance against a requirement of 12,682 tons of urea in Medak district in August, only 200 tons had been supplied.

The leaders pointed out that taking advantage of the situation the traders had started charging Rs.100 more per bag of urea, besides marketing adulterated stuff and insisting on lifting of complex fertilizers.

It was tragic that farmers had to field their school-going children to stand in lines and subject themselves to police lathi charges for buying a bag of urea.

The Lok Satta suggested a systemic solution to the chronic fertilizer scarcity problem. The Government should strengthen the mechanism to conduct soil tests and recommend appropriate fertilizers besides micro nutrients for application. Establishment of agri-clinics at the rate of one for every 3000 acres for supply of inputs and provision of technical guidance and routing of fertilizer subsidy to farmers instead of manufacturers will go a long way in addressing the problem.

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