Odisha govt asks Centre to raise fertiliser allocation

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 17: In its bid to further increase foodgrain production in the state, the Odisha government on Tuesday asked the Centre to enhance fertiliser allocation to protect interest of the farmers.

"I will request you to kindly look into the matter and consider to enhance the allocation of fertilisers to the state for safeguarding the interest of the farming community and to give a further boost to the agriculture production in the state," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.

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Noting that Odisha's livelihood and economy largely depended on agriculture, Patnaik said the state government had formulated a forward-looking State Agriculture Policy in 2013 to provide attractive incentives to drive the growth in agriculture and allied sectors.

The state's effort to increase foodgrain production has been recognised at the national level and Odisha has been consistently awarded with the prestigious "Krishi Karman" Award, three times over the past four years.

"There is a scope for increasing foodgrain production and productivity, but this will depend on adequate and timely supply of chemical fertilisers to the state," Patnaik said.

Patnaik pointed out the allocation of fertilisers being made in favour of the state is very low.

Odisha, with an average fertiliser consumption of 57 kg per hectare lags much behind the national average of 127 kg per hectare during 2013-14.

"A comparison of Odisha with states having almost equivalent extent of gross cropped area like West Bengal, Bihar and Punjab shows their allocation of fertilisers is much higher. Such discrepancy in the allocation of fertilisers is more pronounced in case of Urea," the Chief Minister said.

"Taking into account the cropping pattern and soil fertility level, it is estimated that the ideal fertiliser consumption for the state will be about 126 kg per hectare," Patnaik said.

However, due to inadequate allocation and supply of fertilisers, the state has not been able to achieve the desired level of fertiliser consumption, he said in the letter.

"While the allocation of fertilisers itself remains low compared to our demand, we have observed that the state receives only about 80 per cent of the Urea allocated to Odisha, specially during the Kharif season," Patnaik said.

The Chief Minister also pointed out, "Very often the fertiliser supply schedule also fails to match the peak demand period resulting in scarcity of fertilisers which, at times, gives rise to the law and order problems."

PTI

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