Farmers complain of subsidized fertiliser shortage in NCP

Farmers in the Anuradhapura district are facing a scarcity of subsidized fertiliser in the market.

Farmer organisations in Galenbindunuwewa, Wilachchiya, Kahatagasdigiliya, Horowpothana, Ratmalgahawewa, Medawachchiya, Rambewa, Seeppukula etc. have complained to authorities that some fertiliser dealers were demanding the farmers to buy six bags of urea sometimes instead of issuing a bag of MOP or TSP at subsidised rate of Rs. 1,000 (earlier Rs. 1,500) per 50 kilogram.

Referring to the issue, Anuradhapura Assistant Agrarian Development Commissioner Asanka Somawansa said there was no such scarcity in the district.

The farmers are facilitated to buy fertilizers such as Urea, MOP and TSP from the 41 agrarian development centres at the subsidized rate of Rs. 500 per 50 kg bag for paddy.

“We have made arrangements to distribute 40,000 mt of fertiliser for cultivating a minimum of 125,000 hectares.

The problem is pertaining to the fertiliser sold at Rs. 1,000 per 50 kg bag (earlier Rs. 1500) in the open market without any restriction.

It is reported that in some instances, fertiliser traders are forcing farmers that MOP and TSP fertiliser is issued only to those who bought more Urea fertiliser.

Also, there are complaints that some fertiliser dealers are still continuing to sell the subsidized fertiliser at the old rate of Rs. 1,500 per 50kg bag ignoring the present rate of Rs. 1,000.

Somawansa told the fertiliser secretariat officials and the 675 agriculture research and production assistants to probe into the unwarranted fertiliser business and take action against offenders. Meanwhile, Fertiliser Secretariat Director Ajith Pushpakumara discussed with farmer organization representatives, representatives of the authorized fertiliser distribution companies such as Baurs, CIC, Dimo, Helysetc and fertiliser traders at the Kahatagasdigiliya agrarian development center, recently.

Farmers urged the Director to make arrangements to distribute the Rs. 1,000 fertiliser subsidy through the 41 agrarian development centres in addition to the market.

At present, only paddy farmers are issued fertiliser at the rate of Rs. 500 per 50 kg bag through agrarian centers.

Also, farmers demanded that the Lak Pohora and commercial companies too be authorized to deal in marketing the Rs. 1,000 fertiliser subsidy.
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