Even as the state is poised to harvest a bumper crop this kharif season, the short supply of fertilisers is threatening the paddy crop.
The Cuttack-based Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) has estimated that paddy production will touch record 10 million tonne this kharif season. Given the area under paddy and the favourable monsoon, the state agriculture department was quite hopeful of reaping a record paddy harvest.
Of the 60 lakh hectare of cultivable land in the state, the area under paddy is 35 lakh hectare against the targeted 40 lakh hectare. Similarly, against the targeted 20 lakh hectare under non-paddy crops, the achievement is 22.5 lakh hectare by now.
However, due to poor supply of fertilisers to the state, experts have raised doubts about the productivity of paddy in the state.
A war of words is going on between the Union chemical and fertiliser minister, Srikanta Jena, and Orissa agriculture minister Debi Prasad Mishra on the issue of
Centre’s supply of fertilisers to the state.
Stating that urea is required between August and mid-September for increasing productivity of paddy, Mishra said that the Centre has supplied only 2.99 lakh tonne of urea against the commitment of 4.50 lakh tonne by mid-September.
He alleged that urea producers are not carrying out the directives of the government as there is a huge demand for fertiliser in
the country because of its low price structure compared to phosphorous fertilisers.
Meanwhile, agriculture scientists of Orissa University of Agriculture & Tech-
nology have cautioned that the short supply of
nitrogen-based nutrients will affect the yield of paddy. According to them, the yield reduction may be to the
levels of 25-30% due to poor supply of urea.
Taking into account the fact that during 2012-13, the Centre has supplied 2,02,300 tonne of fertilisers by August, which is 26.6% less than the supply of 2,75,717 tonne in the same period last year, experts said that yield reduction is expected up to 10-12% of normal yield.
“On the basis of research results available at
Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, 50% less use of fertiliser caused 18-20% yield reduction of rice. Therefore, if the existing short supply (26.6%) of
fertilisers continue, we will see a fall in yield,” according to experts.