Despite a delayed monsoon and poor pace of sowing during the current Kharif season, Union Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday said farmers in Gujarat will need an estimated 11 lakh metric tonnes of urea for Kharif crops.“In order to ensure that there is no shortage of fertiliser anywhere in the country, I personally conduct a weekly review with director of the agriculture of each state,” the minister said while interacting with mediapersons at Gandhinagar. “According to the supply plan submitted by Gujarat, 11 lakh metric tonne of urea will be needed during this Kharif season. We have made adequate plans so that this urea is made available during June, July and August months.”
“Similarly, 1.5 lakh metric tonne DAP (Diammonium Phosphate), 80,000 metric tonne MoP (Muriate of Potash) and three lakh metric tonne NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium) fertilisers,” will also be needed, Mandaviya said, adding that Gujarat at present has a stock of 2.4 lakh metric tonne of urea. “There will be no shortage of fertilisers in the state,” he added.
Till June 24, 2019, farmers in the state had sowed just 18 per cent of the average 84.76 lakh hectares that is usually covered by Kharif crops in Gujarat. Most of the crops sown so far are cotton (7.67 lakh hectares) and groundnut (6.01 lakh hectares).
Mandaviya said that the Centre provides a subsidy of Rs 750-800 per bag of urea, which the farmer then buys at Rs 260-262, and Rs 450-550 per bag of phosphate-based fertilisers like MoP and DAP. “The annual requirement of urea in our country is 300-325 lakh metric tonne. About 240-245 lakh metric tonne of urea is produced in our country by 30 agencies including those controlled by the Central government. About 50-60 lakh metric tonne is imported. To fulfill the annual requirement we provide Rs 80,000 crore subsidy to the fertiliser sector,” he explained.