The Maharashtra government has expressed concerns over increasing prices of chemical fertilisers.
The hike is adding to the woes of farmers who are already under financial stress due to recurring unseasonal rain and hailstorm in Maharashtra.
Prices have increased by Rs 170 to Rs 200 for a 5-kg bag of fertiliser. Increasing cost of fertilisers has led to increased input expenditure for farmers, especially small and marginal agriculturists.
Seeking the Centre’s intervention, state Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse has written a letter to Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya. Drawing his attention to increased prices, Bhuse has requested the Centre to direct chemical fertiliser companies to stablise prices.
“We want the Centre to ensure farmers get the fertilisers at old prices which were determined in December 2021. Fertiliser companies that have adequate old stock are selling it to farmers at increased prices since January 2022,” said Bhuse.
In the letter, Bhuse also underlined that due to good monsoon, the area under rabi crop has increased, leading to higher demand for fertilisers. Compared to last rabi season, which covered 52 lakh hectares, this rabi season has seen agricultural activity across over 60 lakh hectares.
There was a sharp 15 to 25 per cent hike in fertiliser prices last year as well. After several state governments protested the price hike, the Centre decided to roll back the prices to give relief to farmers.