Govt ready to come out with white paper on fertiliser supply

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Hyderabad, Sep 2 (UNI) Conceding the Opposition's demand, Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy today assured the State Assembly that the government will come out with a white paper on supply of fertilisers to farmers in the state.

Replying to a short discussion on farmers' issues, he demanded an apology from Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu for allegedly ''neglecting'' farmers' welfare during the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regime. At this, irate TDP members rushed to the well of the house and disrupted the proceedings.

The Minister also took strong objection to Mr Naidu's remark that farmers did not ''beg'' the government for an incentive of Rs 5000 for each farmer uncovered by the Centre's loan waiver scheme.

Cheques would be issued before October for distribution of the promised amount to them, the Minister said.

He said the state government intended to supply 32.5 lakh tonnes of fertilisers during this Kharif as against 27.44 lakh tonnes during the last one.

So far, 13.5 lakh tonnes of urea and 9.5 lakh tonnes of complex fertiliser were supplied to farmers, he said.

Admitting that there was a problem in movement of fertilisers, he said Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Fertiliser Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to ease the situation.

As many as 12 rakes, each with capacity of 2500 tonnes of fertiliser, were in transit and another eight rakes would enter the state soon, he said, highlighting the steps taken by the state government to smooth distribution of fertilisers to farmers.

Agriculture in the state had shown consistent progress in the last four years with the state achieving the highest ever foodgrain production of 197 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 and targetted to produce 205.46 lakh tonnes during 2008-09, he claimed.

Referring to the recent floods, he said crops in four lakh hectares were inundated and fresh seeds and additional fertilisers for the affected areas were being made available.

UNI SM SKB HT1935

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