1. Agriculture World

Orissa Farmers Pay 50% More for Urea as Traders Hoard Stock

Kanika Dhamija
Kanika Dhamija

Black marketing of urea has forced farmers to pay a hefty price for the key agricultural input. Fertilizer dealers have been making a killing by hoarding stocks, thereby creating an artificial scarcity. Urea, a widely used crop nutrient, is actively selling in the range of Rs 380 to Rs 400 per 50 kg bag in Western and Southern Odisha districts. The Government price is marked at Rs 268 per 50 kg bag.

Farmers buying the fertilizer are paying 50 to 60 per cent more than the price fixed by the Government. According to farmers, despite repeated complaints to the Agriculture and Cooperation departments about the black-marketing of Urea, no action has been taken yet.

The State Government has created a corpus of Rs.100 crore for timely supply of the soil nutrients to farmers. The fund is given to the Odisha State Cooperative Marketing Federation (MARKFED) and Odisha Agro-industries Corporation at a ratio of 75:25 for sale of fertilizers through identified dealers and PACS. “There is enough stock of chemical fertilizers in the State. An artificial scarcity has been created by some unscrupulous traders who are hand in glove with district officials,” official sources in Agriculture department said.

The fertilizer stock of the State up to July 31 was 5.12 lakh tonnes against its requirement of 5.07 lakh tonnes, according to official figures. The urea requirement of the State during this period was 2 lakh tonnes but manufacturing companies have delivered 1.99 lakh tonne.

India is the world’s second-biggest consumer of urea after China. At present, there are 31 urea units in the country out of which 28 urea units use Natural Gas (using domestic gas/LNG/CBM) and remaining three urea units use Naphtha as feedstock. The MRP of urea is fixed by the Government of India at Rs. 268 for a 50 Kg bag of urea; Rs. 242 for a 45 kg bag of urea which includes Rs 354/MT as dealer margin for private traders/PSUs/Cooperatives and Rs 50/MT which is paid to retailers for acknowledging the receipt and reporting the stock in mFMS (iFMS) as additional incentive. In Uttar Pradesh due to levy of Additional VAT on natural gas by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, the prices are Rs. 298 for a 50 Kg bag of Urea and Rs. 269 for a 45 kg bag of Urea.

Source: Various news agencies

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