1. Agriculture World

Farmers Angry & Upset Due to Urea Shortages and Black Marketing

Farmers in Bihar experienced fertilizer shortages during the Kharif season last year as well, due to insufficient supply from the central government. According to reports, thousands of farmers in the state's flood-prone northern districts and drought-prone southern districts are struggling to find urea.

Shivam Dwivedi
Farmer sprinkling fertilizer in his field
Farmer sprinkling fertilizer in his field

Farmers across Bihar are concerned and enraged by the acute shortage of chemical fertilizer and its double-digit black marketing during the current rabi season. According to them, this is likely to have an impact on rabi crop output.

Farmers in Bihar experienced fertilizer shortages during the Kharif season last year as well, due to insufficient supply from the central government. According to reports, thousands of farmers in the state's flood-prone northern districts and drought-prone southern districts are struggling to find urea.

These include the districts of Khagaria, Katihar, Saharsa, Madhepura, Supaul, Purnea, and Araria in the Koshi-Seemanchal region, as well as Rohtas, Darbhanga, Buxar, and Patna.

The shortage of urea, a fertilizer essential for rabi crops, primarily wheat and maize, is due to its inaccessibility at officially designated fertilizer dealer shops in communities across the state. Hundreds of farmers have taken to the streets to protest the shortage in various parts of the state.

Balmiki Sharma, a farmer in Patna's Paliganj block, said fertilizer was completely unavailable at dealer shops. "Everyone is crying out for fertilizer," he said.

Sharma, the secretary of Paliganj Bitarni Krishak Samiti, a farmers' organization that works in 50 villages, told that the government had failed to arrange for fertilizer and ensure its delivery to farmers.

"Dealerships have informed farmers that they do not have a single bag of urea." However, it is available on the black market. "The government's promises to assist farmers in increasing their income are only on paper," he said.

"We have been experiencing a fertilizer crisis during the rabi season, and the government has done nothing to address it." Farmers are powerless. Our rabi crops will suffer due to a lack of urea," said Anjani Yadav, a marginal farmer in Parbatta, Khagaria.

Yadav stated that he desperately needed urea for his maize and wheat, but that it was not available at dealers' shops. Maize is a cash crop for farmers in the Koshi-Seemanchal region, which is a major producer of "yellow gold," as maize is known locally. Another farmer, Balkrishna Patel of Katihar, said the input cost of maize cultivation had increased this rabi season because farmers were forced to buy fertilizer at higher prices on the black market.

"Dealers are refusing fertilizer to farmers, citing a lack of supply, despite the fact that urea is available on the open market at higher prices." "All of this is possible because of the powerful nexus of traders and government officials," Patel, a member of the Kisan Adhikar Morcha, explained.

According to farmers, a 45 kilogramme urea bag costs Rs 450-500, despite the fact that the government rate is Rs 266. Patel stated that the planting of rabi crops had been postponed due to a lack of diammonium phosphate (DAP). Without DAP, a large number of farmers were unable to sow on time.

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