Tribune News Service
Bathinda, October 5
In yet another shocker for the farming community in the state, the Central Government has increased the rates of DAP (diammonium phosphate) fertiliser by Rs 50 per sack (50 kg). With the new rates in place, one sack of 50 kg DAP fertilizer which was being sold for Rs 1,150 earlier, would be available for Rs 1,200 now.
Farmers rued that the move would burden the farmers in the state.
Farmers said they had been struggling to bear the already high cost of farming and the recent move by the government would further escalate the input cost for farming in the state. It is the marginal farmer with small landholdings who would be directly affected adversely with the decision.
Talking to The Tribune, Chamkaur Singh, secretary of a Bathinda based co-operative society, said: “Revised rates of DAP fertilisers will be applicable on stock coming after October 1.”
Another employee of Markfed said they had received the intimation regarding the increase in DAP rates.
Singhara Singh Mann, president, BKU Ekta Ugrahan, said: “It is not merely an increase in the fertiliser rates but well-devised strategy to push the already struggling farming community to the margins. It is the increased input cost of farming that has put an additional financial burden on farmers pushing them to commit suicides in the state.”
“Already, the government is paving way for corporates to control the farming sector by putting a leash on the helpless farming community by bringing in new laws and now it has been burdening them with such measures. On one hand, the government lured farmers by increasing the MSP of Rs 50 and Rs 53 on wheat and paddy per quintal basis, respectively, and on the other hand, it has burdened them by increasing DAP fertiliser rates by Rs 50 per sack.”
Agriculture Development Officer Chanpreet Singh said: “The rates of DAP fertiliser were increased by the IFFCO twice recently. But we do not play any role in price-fixing or regulation.”
Bhavneesh Monga, president, Pesticides and Fertilisers’ Association, said: “The Central Government provides a subsidy of Rs 517 for every sack of DAP fertiliser and if the government is genuinely concerned about protecting interests of the farming community, then they should have increased the subsidy and not the rates of the fertiliser to provide much-needed relief.”
Monga added: “Whenever there is a price increase, the government in its bid to save skin often cite change business dynamics in the international market.”
Chief Agriculture Officer Bahadar Singh said the IFFCO had increased rates of DAP fertilisers and the department had no role in it.
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