Urea shortage hits sowing of rabi crop in Rajasthan
The shortage of urea fertilizer in Kota and Baran districts of Rajasthan’s Hadoti region has created difficulties for the farmers sowing wheat, mustard, gram and other crops during the ongoing rabi season. Farmers have made long queues outside the distribution centres, while clashes between the agitating farmers and police were reported from Baran’s Chhipabarod and Relawan villages earlier this week.The fertilizer is not available in sufficient quantity even at the State government-run cooperative stores. Against the requirement of 3 lakh metric tonnes of urea in the region, only 1.39 lakh metric tonnes have been supplies so far, as the Agriculture Department’s officials have distributed slips to farmers for getting the urea bags at several police stations to maintain order.The district authorities have held the farmers’ habit of stockpiling of fertilisers responsible for the crunch. Baran Collector S.P. Singh said on Thursday that about 44,000 metric tonnes of urea had been distributed so far against the total allocation of 57,000 metric tonnes.‘Centre discriminating’Newly elected Congress MLA from Kota’s Sangod, Bharat Singh, said the Centre has started discriminating against Rajasthan by reducing the urea allocation because of the Congress being elected in the State Assembly polls. “The BJP wants to create a crisis situation, for which the farmers will blame the Congress government here. This tactic will backfire on them in next year’s Lok Sabha elections,” he said.Ironically, Kota is a major production centre for urea, as two hi-tech nitrogenous fertilizer plants of Chambal Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (CFCL) are situated in the district. A large number of farmers have staged a dharna outside the CFCL plants with the demand that an adequate share in their daily production of 6,000 metric tonnes of urea be reserved for the local supply.Hadoti Kisan Union general secretary Dashrath Kumar told The Hindu that the demand for urea had increased in the current rabi season because of a higher sowing of wheat. ‘Withdraw condition’He said the CFCL should withdraw its necessary condition imposed on dealers for purchasing co-products along with the fertilizer and the urea should be distributed only at the cooperative stores.“Only an urgent provision of additional allocation for the Hadoti region by the Centre can improve the situation here. Farmers need an average of 20 to 30 urea bags each for their land holdings, but they are being given only 5 to 6 bags,” he said.