No fertiliser scarcity in TN: Minister

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Chennai, Dec 5 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S Arumugham today said there was no fertiliser scarcity in any part of the state.

In a statement here, he said the government would take all steps to ensure that there was no short supply of fertilisers to farmers.

The state needed about 24 lakh to 26 lakh tonnes of fertilisers for paddy and other crops, cultivated in about 55 lakh hectares.

Of this, 5.5 lakh tonnes of urea, 2.25 lakh tonnes of DAP and 2.6 lakh tonnes of potassium were required for Rabi season, the Agriculture Minister said, adding that urea and potash were available in all district primary agricultural banks and private shops.

As far as DAP was concerned, 60 per cent of its requirements were met by SPIC and due to administrative reasons, SPIC had stopped its production from March, the minister said.

Mr Arumugham said to meet the demands of farmers, DAP was procured from importers through TANFED and was being sold through cooperative societies.

Though SPIC resumed the production in August this year, it was able to produce only limited quantity of DAP. Moreover, with the increase in price of Phosphoric acid, one of the raw materials for the manufacture of DAP in the open market, the imports came down and several states were facing shortage of DAP, he stated.

Based on a letter written by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to the Union Fertilisers Minister on November 23, seeking allotment of 77,000 tonnes of DAP for the state, the Centre at a review meeting on December 3 had permitted allotment of 52,000 tonnes of DAP through IPL, 7,300 tonnes through IFFCO, 3,000 tonnes through SPIC and 6,200 tonnes through the Mangalore Chemicals Limited.

Mr Arumugham also added from December 1 to 3, 6,800 tonnes of DAP were being distributed to the district through Indian Potash Limited and IFFCO. About 22,000 tonnes of DAP would land at Tuticorin Port on December 14.

Since TANFED was importing and providing it to farmers through cooperative societies, DAP was not available in the open market.

Consequently, fertiliser shop owners were trying to create an impression that there was scarcity of fertilisers in the state, the minister claimed.

UNI

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