Hyderabad, Jun 11: Admitting that there was a shortage of fertilisers, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today appealed to farmers not to panic and promised that the government would take concrete steps to ensure adequate supply of fertilisers for the khariff season.
Talking to reporters here, he warned of stern action against unscruplous traders if they resorted to black marketing and hoarding to make a fast buck.
The State Government had given Rs 500 crore to the Marketing Federation (Markfed) to import 80,000 tonnes of fertilisers, the Chief Minister attributed the shortage to delay in import of required chemicals by fertiliser companies.
He said the Centre had enhanced the subsidy to Rs 1,03,000 crore from Rs 30,000 crore this year, he added.
The Chief Minister's appeal came in the wake of killing of a farmer in police firing during a protest against shortage of fertilisers at Haveri Town in neighbouring Karnataka.
Observing that use of fertiliser was more in Andhra Pradesh compared to other states, Dr Reddy asked agriculturalists to make use of 50,000 micro testing kits available with model farmers for soil testing and switch over to biofertilizers which were good for soil health.
He also wanted the farmers to subscribe to the improvised Crop Insurance Scheme with village as unit for assessment of crop loss introduced for the first time in the country.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) would be suspended during the khariff season to ensure that farmers got adequate number of labourers for farm operations, he added.