Minister denies shortage of fertilizers

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Hyderabad, July 30 (UNI) Even as farmers took to streets due to alleged shortage of fertilizers, Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy today maintained that the State on the whole did not face shortage of fertilisers.

Addressing a press conference here after a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, he said the Centre had, in principle, agreed to allot to the State the entire quantity of fertiliser produced by companies in the State, instead of allocating fertilizer produced by companies in other States.

Union Chemicals and Fertilizer Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, with whom the Chief Minister spoke over phone, also agreed in principle to lift the ban on private units in the State, which blended different types of fertilizers, to make available required quantity of complex fertilizer.

The Minister admitted that Khammam, Warangal and Karimnagar districts faced some fertilizer shortage due to delayed arrival of fertiliser-laden rail rakes and the situation would improve in these districts soon. The Chief Minister had directed the Chief Secretary to take up the matter with the Railway authorities, Mr Reddy said, adding that he was overseeing the arrival of fertilisers to the State through the Visakhapatnam sea port.

He clarified that a farmer in Warangal district had died following ''fits'' when he came to purchase fertilizers and not due to any stampede as alleged by the opposition TDP.

Farmers were supplied with 3.06 lakh tonnes of diammonium phosphate and 4.12 lakh tonnes of complex fertilizer this year, as against the supply of 1.82 lakh tonnes and 4.12 lakh tonnes respectively last year, he said, adding that the Government had stocked 20 per cent more quantity of fertiliser when compared to the previous year.

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