ĎArtificialí shortage of urea hits farmers

Farmers are facing an acute shortage of urea this wheat sowing season after dealers across the state have been found forcing farmers to buy fertilisers such as zinc, biopesticides etc., in addition to packets of urea. This has resulted in the artificial shortage of urea in the market, which has forced Director of Agriculture Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu to make a visit various state districts.

Dr Sandhu ordered that license of any such dealer will be cancelled if found indulging in creating an artificial shortage. "As per the data available, 90 lakh metric tonne of urea is required by farmers, and we have stocks of more than 10.20 lakh metric tonne which have been dispatched, there is no shortage as such, but it has been created by a few dealers who will be taken to task, if more complaints are received."

Rs 536 per quintal is the rate of urea in the market, but dealers are forcing farmers to buy additional sprays, or pesticides along or they refuse to sell product, complained Darshan Singh Koohli from Bharti Kisan union.

Sandhu said: "I have travelled to almost all Punjab districts and have cancelled leaves of officers. Have told them to be in field to address the problems of farmers. I am sure, now they will not find any more harassment."

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