The increasing shortage of DAP (diammonium phosphate), a widely used fertiliser, has led to farmers looting around 100 bags from a private dealer’s shop at Ateli grain market in Mahendragarh, Haryana.
The incident took place after farmers gathered outside a sale counter of HAFED, the Haryana government’s cooperative federation, but it was closed. Angered by the situation, some of the farmers started taking away fertiliser bags lying outside a neighbouring shop, the Tribune reported.
A video of the incident surfaced online wherein men and women could be seen running away with bags of DAP, the preferred fertiliser for mustard and wheat.
Rajender, Station House Officer of Ateli police station, told the Tribune that the police have recovered around 25 bags and rounded up four-five persons. A case has been registered under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to the newspaper, Mahendragarh, Rewari, Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri districts were facing an acute shortage of DAP. Besides, Mahendragarh had not received any supply for several days leading up to the incident.
Ajay Kumar, Mahendragarh Deputy Commissioner, told the newspaper that 6,000 MT DAP was needed to meet the district’s demand in the district and 2500 MT had already been distributed. As farmers were worried over crop yield, Kumar assured that the supply issue would be resolved soon/
According to reports, there is a short supply of fertilisers across the country, especially of DAP and Urea, both of which are crucial to wheat cultivation. Punjab farmers have also alleged that an artificial shortage in being created to push up the price of the fertilisers.
Punjab is also facing a DAP crisis. Punjab agriculture minister Randeep Singh Nabha on October 19 reached out to Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mansukh Mandaviya, in this regard.
Nabha informed Mandaviya that the total requirement of DAP for Rabi crops was 5.50 lakh metric tonne (LMT). However, the state had only 0.74 LMT opening stock of DAP in October, compared to 3.63 LMT in the same period last year. Mandaviya has assured the Punjab minister of adequate fertiliser supply.
In Madhya Pradesh, there have been multiple incidents of farmers looting bags of DAP fertiliser in October. Three such incidents took place alone in Chambal division of Madhya Pradesh within five days, the police said. The shortage of DAP has hit the state, especially its northern parts, right ahead of the winter crop sowing season and this has made the farmers desperate.
While the MP government has denied any shortage in fertiliser supply, Home minister Narottam Mishra has pointed to black marketing and illegal hoarding of the fertiliser.