Fertiliser demand to rise in coming rabi season

Written by Commodities Bureau | New Delhi, Sep 25 | Updated: Sep 26 2008, 05:56am hrs
In the wake of plans to bring more area under cultivation during the coming rabi sowing season, the Centre expects the demand for fertiliser to rise significantly during the season, which could harm crop yields if adequate availability was not ensured in time.

According to an official document, the country would need around 14.42 million tonne (MT) of urea for the coming rabi season, which is almost 3.09% more than the same season last year, 5.02 MT of di-ammonia phosphate (DAP), up almost 6% from last rabi, 2.06 MT of MOP, up almost 5.36% than last year. However, the demand for complex fertilisers is expected to fall by around 7%, to 4.33 MT.

Last year, rabi crops were cultivated in around 50.28 million hectare, which the country plans to scale up to 53.29 million hectares to make good the losses suffered due to floods during the ongoing kharif season, a senior government official said. Of this around 28.5 million hectares has been targeted for wheat, up from last years actual acreage of 28.19 million hectare. The area under rice is expected to be same as last year, at 4.38 million hectare.

Meanwhile, the availability and requirement of urea during the current kharif sowing season has been largely below requirement and barring the availability of MOP, supplies of all others namely urea, DAP and complex fertilizers have been below requirement till August 31, 2008.

Official documents show that till August 31, around 10.99 million tonne of urea have been made available to farmers against a requirement of 13.71 million tonne. In the case of DAP around 3.91 million tonnes have been made available against a requirement of 4.27 million tonne, while in case of complex fertilizers around 2.85 million tonne were available against a requirement of 4.89 million tonne.

Only in the case of MOP that supplies were more than required. Around 1.78 million tonne of MOP was supplied to farmers against a requirement of 1.72 million tonne.