The urea shortage is a result of farmers deciding to shift their choice of crop – from cotton, maize and soya to paddy – due to a change in the rainfall pattern.

Farmers in Telanganas Kamareddy face fertiliser shortage authorities ill-preparedAll images: Charan Teja
news Agriculture Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 16:35

“I’ve been coming here for four days; each day they ask me to come back the next day, but by the time I get here, the fertiliser stock gets over,” mutters Akula Siddavva, a woman farmer in her 60s, giving vent to her frustration.

This is not the case only with Siddavva. For the last few days, farmers in Telangana’s Kamareddy district have been complaining about shortage of fertilisers. In mandals like Tadwai, Lingampet, Sadashivanagar and Gandhari, farmers are having to wait in long queues to procure fertilisers.

Urea is a crop nurturing fertiliser preferred mainly for paddy and crops like Soya bean, cotton and maize to improve the quality of soil by providing nitrogen to advance the growth.

Earlier this week, when TNM visited a few sales points of Primary Cooperative Societies in Sadhashivanagar, it was learnt that there is inadequate supply of fertilisers compared to the requirement.

Farmer Ch Raju had travelled 10 km to the Padmajiwadi Cooperative Society office for 4 bags of urea to fertilise his 3 acres of paddy, as there was no stock in the vicinity of his village. “There is a serious shortage of urea. It is peak time for farmers and officials should have arranged as per the needs.”

Savai Ram, a paddy farmer who came from Chadmal of Gandhari mandal to Utnoor in Sadashivanagar, said that the problem has been recurring for more than a week. Several farmers waiting in front of the cooperative society for another truck load to get the fertiliser said that the shortage would affect the growth of their crops.

However, officials are confident and say that there is no deficit, adding that they have already dispatched fertilisers to all the mandals in the district.

Speaking to TNM, Kamareddy Agriculture Development Officer Nagendraiah said that the shortage of fertiliser, mainly urea, is possibly a result of farmers changing their choice of crop, due to a change in the rainfall pattern. Instead of crops like cotton, maize and soya, more farmers decided to plant paddy compared to the usual practice for the season, officials said.

“Unlike last year there is high cultivation of paddy, for which farmers require more urea fertiliser. Also rainfall on every alternative day has made farmers opt for applying of urea,” Nagendraiah said.

According to an official estimate, both kharif and rabi seasons saw 1,36,658 acres of paddy cultivated last year, whereas this year farmers have cultivated paddy in 94,732 acres in kharif season alone.

Nagendraiah added, “Earlier this week, there was a shortage. Later, we sorted out the stock in many places. The district has already received around 5,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser. We are dispatching more on priority basis, soon the district will get 1,000 metric tonnes more and the shortage will be resolved.”

However, farmer rights activists say that authorities should be prepared so that such shortages do not arise. They also said that several places in the state are witnessing a similar situation. 

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