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Farmers Should Not Be Forced to Purchase Mineral Mixes or Micronutrients with Fertilizers: Agricultural Commissioner

The agricultural commissioner of Maharashtra, Dheeraj Kumar, has instructed the fertilizers firms, not to force farmers to buy micronutrients or mineral mixes.

Kritika Madhukar
According to the Soil Health Card online, Maharashtra's soil is somewhat alkaline
According to the Soil Health Card online, Maharashtra's soil is somewhat alkaline

Dheeraj Kumar, the agricultural commissioner of Maharashtra, has advised fertilizer companies not to push farmers to purchase mineral mixes or micronutrients while purchasing fertilizers from stores. 

Kumar stated that he took action after receiving complaints regarding such linked transactions from farmers in Nanded and Buldhana.

One of the complainants was Yuvraj Patil, the Nanded district head of the farmer's organization Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana. Patil, who met Kumar on the latter's visit to the area, stated that farmers were being compelled to purchase fertilizers that they had not requested. 

"Fertilizer corporations, as well as wholesale and retail merchants, are tying big fertilizer sales to composts, micronutrients, and other minerals."

Micro minerals, compost, and micronutrients are critical for soil health, yet most farmers fail to incorporate them. Farmers' soil health cards are intended to advise them on the application of fertilizers and other nutrients. Overuse of nitrogen-based fertilizers raises soil salinity, which can lead to desertification in the long term. 

According to the Soil Health Card online, Maharashtra's soil is somewhat alkaline, with organic carbon being low in most sections of the state.

Patil told a news agency that when farmers in Nanded go to buy big fertilizers such as urea or DAP (diammonium phosphate) or other Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (NPK) mixes, they are obliged to buy alternative fertilizers or mineral mixtures. 

"If the farmers do not agree, the shops refuse to sell them the essential fertilizers," he explained. With fertilizer prices skyrocketing, this additional procurement has put a dent in farmers' budgets, according to Patil.

Kumar stated that, in addition to Nanded, he has received concerns from Buldhana. "Micronutrients are vital for soil health, but farmers should never be forced to purchase them." Companies that violate this rule will face severe penalties, he added. 

Kumar also said that he will be speaking with corporations about the issue. "It is critical that they give the proper nutrients for soil health." However, awareness is essential. "I would request that firms do awareness efforts throughout the state," he added. Kumar stated that the complaints made in Nanded will be investigated by the district collector.

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