Imphal: Irate farmers in Manipur’s Imphal West district on Monday stormed the district Agriculture office to register a strong protest against non-availability of fertilizers.
Like in the previous years, the state is facing acute shortage of urea at the peak of the paddy crop season even as Agriculture minister Th Bishwajit Singh repeatedly claimed that there were enough stock of urea in the government godowns.
Selling of Urea is controlled by the government and under a policy, the government has been selling the same at subsidised rate to the farmers like in other states of the country.
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However, farmers of the state are facing hardships in getting the fertilizers meant for their paddy crops.
Following a notification from the Imphal West district Agriculture office regarding the distribution of the fertilizer, hundreds of farmers today turned up at its office in Imphal’s Lamphelpat early today morning.
Over 2000 farmers turned up expecting a bag each of urea fertilizer as each farmer is allowed to purchase only one bag at a time.
However, the staff of the district Agriculture office informed the gathering farmers that only 250 bags would be distributed today and tokens will be issued to the remaining farmers so that they can get the fertilizers on other days. The announcement angered the farmers. They stormed the godown and threw and spilt the fertilizers there.
Timely intervention of the police prevented the farmers from large scale destroying of urea stock. The police pushed the agitating farmers outside the godown where the farmers continued to stage the protests there.
The agitated farmers are apprehensive of not getting the fertilizers which are also not available in the open market as the commodity is being controlled by the government.
A farmer recalled that in the previous year too, tokens were distributed to them with an assurance of giving the same in the coming days. However, no fertilizer was distributed further for the year, he said. He alleged that the faulty agriculture policies of the state government made the farmers suffer from acute shortage of fertilizers.