The rabi season is here, and the first step is to apply the fertilizer called DAP before sowing. But instead, they are not, more accurately they cannot.
Farmers are paying ₹1,200 more for this fundamental fertilizer, and along with a shortage. On top of all of it, the government is just handling the negative publicity. There is a global price hike and there is a delay in raising subsidies for imported fertilizer.
This has disrupted the normal arrival schedule of the fertilizer, which will severely affect many farmlands. November is the crucial sowing period for rabi crops, especially wheat, and until they get the fertilizer in time, there will be late sowing.
There is no scarcity of fertilizers like urea. The problem lies in the DAP. Contrary to government claims, it is not available at many places.
The availability of DAP was under 10 lakh tons against the necessity of 17 lakh tons for the whole of November. The government claimed that it was 23 lakh tons against 18 lakh tons of demand in October.
This is questioned by many farm leaders, as they wait in queues to get the fertilizer.
The area under mustard has expanded around 26% to 24.67 lakh hectares as of October 29 against a year ago in the ongoing rabi season. But the area under chana has declined 17% to 7.77 lakh hectares from year-prior.
The wheat has not arrived at 1 lakh hectares. Total farmlands under the entire winter crops have expanded 2% at 43.29 lakh hectares.
Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union chemicals and fertilisers minister, on November 1st, has appealed to the farmers not to hoard the fertilizers.
He assured that the government is constantly monitoring the supply chain and will ensure that farmers will get it.
He added that while the demand for urea is 41 lakh ton, the government will ensure that 76 lakh ton is available. Also, 18 lakh tons of DAP will be made accessible against 17 lakh tons of the projected demand.
Availability of 30 lakh tons of NPK will outperform the demand of 15 lakh MT.
Dharmendra Malik, the spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union, has said about the plight of a farmer who committed suicide because of not getting the fertilizer.
The news of fertilizers’ shortage has reached the farmers and long queues have been formed, which debunks government claims.
He also added that it is the failure of the government if the farmers have to buy 50 kg of DAP for ₹1,600, instead of the MRP ₹1,200.
On October 12th the government declared ₹28,655 crores of additional subsidies to reduce the price and to ease the burden over the fertilizer company. With this, the fertilizer total outgo will reach ₹1.23 lakh crore in FY22.
A similar thing happened during the kharif season. The global price hike of phosphorus, potash and DAP is the root cause of this predicament.