Fertiliser shortage may hit potato sowing in Bengal: Officials

Kolkata: The global fertiliser shortage may affect potato sowing in West Bengal this season, officials said on Friday.
There has been a shortage of diammonium phosphate (DAP) in several countries, and the heat has been felt in West Bengal, the leading potato-producing state in the country.
“There has been a widespread shortage of fertiliser. We have received complaints that some farmers are having to pay Rs 300-400 more for every bag. The Enforcement Department and district authorities are carrying out raids on premises of dealers and stockists,” a state government official said.
He said that the Centre has accommodated only one-third of the fertiliser requirement.
“Potato sowing and production will be impacted if the crisis deepens. Purba Bardhaman and Hooghly districts will be affected the most,” an official of the West Bengal Cold Storage Association told PTI.
“Only 40 per cent of sowing has been completed and such hurdles may hurt crop output,” he said.
Last year, West Bengal had a potato output of 110 lakh tonnes.
As per reports, the Indian government faces a record fertiliser subsidy of Rs 1.5 lakh crore for 2021-22 after international prices shot up by nearly 200 per cent. The country is one of the leading importers of urea and DAP to meet its requirement.
India imports around 60 per cent of its annual DAP consumption of 10-12 million tonnes. China is a major exporter and there has been a delay in imports due to restrictions. —PTI

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