Slump in fertiliser supply chain causes shortage

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Jun 29 | Updated: Jul 1 2008, 02:12am hrs
The early onset of the southwest monsoon and the even spread of rainfall in June, the first month of the season has caused an increase in demand for fertilisers. Though a sufficent stock of fertiliser has reached the districts, the supply from the districts to villages has been slow and this has caused problems of shortage at various places.

According to RC Gupta, Fertiliser Association of India (FAI), there was no problem in the supply of urea and the muriate of potash (MoP). However, the situation is dim in the case of DAP , SSP and complexes due lack of sufficient supply. He said that the domestic manufacture of DAP was slightly affected due to the delay in the movement of rock phosphates from Rajasthan where the Gujjar agitation brought road and rail traffic to a complete halt. Small units that manufacture single super phosphates (SSP) and other complexes are unable to meet the demand to the lack of economies of scale. Importers DAP are also unable to bring in supplies with China tightening its contribution in the global market.

The cumulative average rainfall till June 27 has been 26% more than normal. Rainfall has been fairly even with major parts of the country receiving good showers, with the exception of Kerala, Marathwada, eastern Gujarat, Madhya Maharashtra, north interior Karnataka, Rayalseema, Lakshadweep and some parts of Northeast India.

All summer crops with the exception of cotton, sugarcane, jute and soybean have registered increases in their area coverage. In some states like Punjab there has been a shift in cotton area to paddy because in the previous year the farmers had bad experiences of mealy bug on Bt cotton and also with the hope of getting better prices for paddy this year.