Farmers in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh continue to struggle due to the shortage of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), an essential nutrient for Rabi season crops. The farmers are increasingly turning impatient in both states as a further shortage can seriously hamper the sowing of their crops.
In Haryana, the "short supply from the Centre during the Kharif season, increase in the estimated area of mustard sowing and hike in the raw material for the DAP fertiliser' are reported to be the reasons behind the current crisis. As per reports, the Centre gave 2 lakh MT of the fertiliser to Haryana against the requirement of 3 lakh MT.
"Due to the shortfall of 1 lakh MT of DAP during Kharif season, the opening stock on October 1 (start of rabi season) with Haryana was 50,000 MT," an official told The Tribune.
The shortages began piling up in October when the Centre had allocated 58,650 MT of DAP to Haryana against the requirement of 1.10 lakh MT. After the issue was raised with the Union Agriculture Minister, 94,000 MT of additional fertiliser was given to the state in October.
Despite that, the demand and supply gap has continued, as per figures released by the Department of Fertilisers of the Centre. The data show that there is still a requirement of 1.29 lakh MT DAP to sow wheat and for additional agricultural needs until March 31, 2022.
Even with favourable weather conditions, farmers in Haryana are unable to sow mustard without the essential fertilisers.
Dr Jagraj Dandi, the joint director, Haryana Agriculture Department, said: "We have a target to sow mustard in 6.5 lakh hectares, but this area is expected to cross 7 lakh hectares due to favourable sowing conditions for mustard, especially in the rain-fed districts of the state in September and October. The estimated wheat sowing area is 25 lakh hectare."
In a similar scenario, farmers in Himachal Pradesh, in the lower Kangra region, comprising Nurpur, Indora, Fatehpur and Nagrota Surian, cannot sow wheat amid the DAP crisis.
DAP and several other fertilisers such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (NPK) are neither available in the state agriculture department's retail outlets nor the open market. Despite buying wheat seeds, farmers say that they cannot start sowing due to the absence of fertilisers.
As per reports, the shortage is caused due to the Centre not allotting fertilisers to the state. Jeet Singh, deputy director of agriculture, Palampur, said that Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Marketing and Consumer Federation Ltd (Himfed) procures the fertilisers and requirements for the whole Kangra district has already been submitted to the state government.
Bharatiya Kisan Union Kangra appealed to the district authorities to provide farmers with the essential fertilisers so that they can start with the sowing before the soil gets dried up.