Fertilizer crisis emerges in India due to black market surge

Black marketeers are causing a significant shortage in chemical fertilizer supplies in India, leading to increased prices. This development is affecting paddy and potato growers, particularly during the Kharif season and the onset of Ravi cultivations. In response, the state agriculture department has set a meeting for 9 November.

Bengal requires 175,000 MT of chemical fertilizers for November every year. As of now, only 54,000 MT has been received and is being distributed from warehouses. The demand for the 10:26:26 NPK (nitrogen phosphorus potassium) fertilizer is particularly high, especially during the potato sowing season. High-yielding districts, such as East Burdwan, Hooghly, Birbhum, and Bankura, are feeling the impact of the inflated costs.

Historically, Bengal has been grappling with issues related to soil degradation and declining fertility. In 2022, the state consumed 796,000 MT of NPK fertilizer, slightly down from 806,000 MT in 2021. The consumption peaked in 2016 at 839,000 MT. For October, the district of Bankura has been allocated various fertilizer amounts, including 13,451 MT of urea.

In light of the black market activities, actions have been taken against several fertilizer sellers in Bankura, with some facing suspension. The situation is being closely monitored by agricultural officials. Critics have pointed to the state’s inefficiency in tackling the black marketing issue.

Source: Asia News Network

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