NEW DELHI/PATIALA: The ongoing “rail roko” in Punjab against the farm laws has started hitting the state’s farmers hard as the country’s rice and wheat bowl now faces huge shortage of urea, pegged around nine lakh tonnes. Official data shows the availability of this key crop nutrient was about 33% less than the requirement between October 1 and November 19 and the gap is set to widen.
Industry sources said that the situation will become unmanageable, if the stalemate doesn’t end within the next couple of days. Data from the fertiliser department shows that in the past 50 days, 4.8 lakh tonnes of urea was available while the requirement was 6.5 lakh tonnes.”The demand for urea peaks in end-November and December for Rabi crops. The state requires around 14.5 lakh tonnes of urea during this season and availability is barely 20-25%,” said a senior executive of a fertiliser firm.
According to the state’s agricultural department, around 10 lakh tonnes of urea is required for wheat crop. “Around 8 lakh tonnes urea is required till December-end… Nearly 15% of wheat yield may be affected, if urea is not applied to the crops within 15 days,” said G S Brar, chief inspector for fertilisers in Punjab.

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