State to keep buffer stock of urea to avoid shortage in kharif season

The state has decided to have an additional buffer stock of urea to the tune of 1.5 lakh metric tonne (MT).

The state agriculture department has asked all districts to have a buffer stock in place within 15 days to avoid shortage of fertilisers in the forthcoming kharif season.

The state has decided to have an additional buffer stock of urea to the tune of 1.5 lakh metric tonne (MT).

Agriculture minister Dadasaheb Bhuse at a meeting to oversee the fertiliser preparedness for the khariff season said last-minute rush for higher fertiliser procurement last year had led to hardships to farmers in some areas.

The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted a good monsoon this year.

“Last year also we had a good monsoon. This leads to increased demand for fertilisers, including urea. This year, to avoid any last-minute chaos, we have decided to keep a buffer stock of 1.5 lakh MT ready in every district. The process should complete in 15 days,” Bhuse said.

The state has sought 42.5 lakh MT of fertilisers from the Centre. Currently, Maharashtra has a stock of 22.56 lakh MT of fertilisers. Of this, urea accounts for 5.3 lakh MT, DAP 1.27 lakh MT and other fertilisers 9.72 lakh MT.

The agriculture ministry aims to ensure that there is no hoarding and black marketing of fertilisers.

A ministry source said, “Last year, we were confronted with in-house challenges. Substandard seeds affected the sector. Farmers, who sowed substandard seeds, had used plenty of fertilisers. When the seeds failed to germinate, they had to go through the entire process for the second time.”

This led to higher demand for fertilisers. Also, stock hoarding in some districts aggravated the crisis, the source added.

Bhuse said any individual, group or company found indulging in stock hoarding or black marketing of urea or fertilisers will face serious consequences, including finance cancellation, fine and imprisonment.

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