Punjab chief secretary steps in, tells Markfed to procure 60% DAP stock - Hindustan Times
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Punjab chief secretary steps in, tells Markfed to procure 60% DAP stock

By, Chandigarh
Aug 28, 2023 03:19 AM IST

Punjab needs 5.25 lakh tonnes of DAP during the rabi season and so far the state cooperative has bought only 20,000 tonnes.

After Punjab State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation Limited (Markfed) failed to procure the required stocks of di-ammonia phosphate (DAP) ahead of rabi sowing, the chief secretary Anurag Verma has asked it and the state agriculture department to work together and fulfil the shortfall.

Punjab needs 5.25 lakh tonnes of DAP during the rabi season and so far the state cooperative has bought only 20,000 tonnes
Punjab needs 5.25 lakh tonnes of DAP during the rabi season and so far the state cooperative has bought only 20,000 tonnes

The order said that it should be ensured that 60% of the total DAP required for the state should be made available with the cooperative societies by September 15 for wheat sowing.

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The two state bodies, Markfed and the agriculture department are blaming each other for the shortfall with private traders lifting as much as 90% of the stock available in the market to date.

According to director agriculture Gurvinder Singh Markfed’s delay in procuring stocks has let the private traders lift a major chunk of DAP necessary for wheat sowing.

“So far, the Markfed and the cooperative societies should have procured 2 lakh tonnes, but they have only 10% (20,000 tonnes) of it,” said an officer in the agriculture department, who declined to be named.

A senior manager rank officer of Markfed, who declined to be named, said ahead of every season, the agriculture department releases a communication to the cooperative department to start procurement of DAP, which they missed this time. “The stocks required are huge, the procurement starts early in July month,” he added.

Last week, when the shortfall was noticed CS Verma held a meeting with the officials of two government bodies.

“It is being felt that cooperative societies should have the required amount of DAP as the shortfall may lead to exploitation of the small and marginal farmers leading to the losses for them,” he said in a communication sent to the departments of cooperation and agriculture and Markfed.

He asked the officials of three government bodies to procure more stock, working with the supplying agencies to cover up the gap.

There are 3,500 cooperative agricultural societies who buy DAP from Markfed for which the agriculture department gives the allocation. The total requirement for DAP during rabi season in the state is 5.25 lakh tonnes and the stocks are divided in a 60-40 ratio among the agricultural cooperative societies and the 12,000-plus traders.

Out of the total requirement, 60% (3 lakh tonnes) is supplied to the farmers through the cooperatives (Markfed 75% and IFFCO 25%) and the remaining 40% by the private traders.

The DAP stocks start arriving in the state from July 15. “We are making efforts to cover up the shortfall,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Gurpreet Singh Nibber is an Assistant Editor with the Punjab bureau. He covers politics, agriculture, power sector, environment, Sikh religious affairs and the Punjabi diaspora.

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