LAKHIMPUR: The small tea growers have to suffer a lot due to shortage of subsidized fertilizer in the market. This was expressed by the Lakhimpur district committee of All Assam Small Tea Growers' Association on Thursday. The organization has demanded the Government of Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Agriculture Minister Atul Borah to ensure the availability of the subsidized fertilizer in the market by supplying the same for the greater interest of the small tea growers as well as other farmers of the district.
Regarding the issue, Tarun Borthakur, the president of the Lakhimpur district unit of All Assam Small Tea Growers' Association, said, "August and September are the peak season for the small tea growers to achieve the expected amount of produce from their gardens. Under such circumstances, the shortage of subsidized fertilizer in the market has harassed the small tea growers mentally and financially. They have to collect the fertilizer at a high price from the market. If the small tea growers cannot apply the adequate amount of fertilizer in their tea gardens within the first week of September, they will have to suffer a lot being deprived of their expected harvest."
In this connection, the president of the organization further said that that the shortage of subsidized fertilizer in the market was a common phenomenon. "The farmers of Lakhimpur district have been deprived of subsidized fertilizer for years, but the same fertilizer has been sold in the market at a high price," the president added while expressing his resentment over the issue.
Demanding to resolve this issue, the organization already submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of the Lakhimpur district. In the memorandum, the president and the secretary of the organization said that the farmers of Lakhimpur had not got a single kilogram of fertilizer supplied by the government at subsidized rate from the fertilizer dealers having government license.
"The dealers issue threat of not selling fertilizer when receipt is sought at the time of purchasing the same. They say that this fertilizer is not supplied by the government. They suggest us to take fertilizer as much as we need, but not to seek receipt. In this situation, the small tea growers have been purchasing the fertilizer at a high price, from Rs. 15 to Rs. 24 per kilogram. We have been compelled to purchase the subsidized fertilizer at high price which has caused us mental harassment," the memorandum stated. The organization has demanded the Chief Minister and the Agriculture Minister to resolve these issues.
On the other hand, the Lakhimpur district unit of Hindu Youth Council alleged scam on supply of subsidized urea to the farmers. In this connection, some days back, the organization also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma demanding him a probe the matter. In the memorandum, the organization said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi had adopted all kinds of policies for the benefits of the farmers and made subsidized urea easily available to them. Despite such circumstances, there was shortage of fertilizer in Lakhimpur district in the past years."