Declining agricultural productivity and the increasing demand for foodgrains have emerged as a big challenge before the country.

Four Ministers Quote Different Figures, But Govt Showcases It As Commitment To Farmers' Lot

The physicochemical characteristics of flyash and vermicomposted flower waste were analysed and ten different treatments consisting of various combinations of flyash, vermicompost and chemical fertili

Farmer Shamsul Huq said he went to Alongjury union of Itna upazila eight times but did not get any fertiliser. He lanted Boro in four acres of land in Dhuldia Beel in Itna upazila, which need fertiliser now. He did not get any fertiliser as he is not on the list in Alongjury union because he is a resident of nearby Karimganj upazila with lands in the Bhuldia Beel. Aminul Islam, a teacher of Alongjury Government Primary School in Itna said he got only 600 kilograms of urea against a requirement of 1100 kgs for his 12 acres of Boro land. He also needs at least 600 kg TSP but got only 60 kgs, he told this correspondent during a recent visit to Boro fields in Haor areas. Same is the situation in other haor areas in Kishoreganj district. This correspondent talked to at least 50 farmers who said they are not getting required quantities of fertiliser due to short supply and alleged mismanagement in distribution. They alleged that they may miss their production targets for the third consecutive year, mainly due to fertiliser crisis now. Boro is the lone food crop in Kishoreganj Haor areas. The crop was damaged in last two seasons due to flood and 'cold injury' during winter. In Bhairab upazila, farmers at a recent press conference at the local press expressed resentment over fertiliser crisis. They were cooled down by the Upazila Nirbahi Officer by assuring adequate supply of the input. About 500 farmers from Abdullahpur union in Austogram upazila in an application to Kishorganj Deputy Commissioner Sultan Ahmed alleged that they did not get any fetiliser in January and that their Boro crops are being affected now for this. Transplantation of Boro seedlings in Haor areas started in January but many farmers did not get any fetiliser till now, they alleged. Farmers alleged that the crisis was created mainly due to mismanagement in distribution process. Farmers who do not live in Haor areas have not been listed for fertiliser, they said. The Agriculture Extension Department (AED) made lists of farmers in Haor areas in May and June when landowners living elsewhere were not included, they said. During the visit, it was found that at least 407 acres of Boro land owned by Jirati farmers were deprived of fertiliser only in Alongjury union of Itna upazila. Farmers having land in Haor areas living elsewhere are locally called Jirati. AED block supervisor in Alongjury union Md. Pabon Ali also acknowledged that many farmers were not on the lists prepared in May and June. AED sources said that in last season Boro production target in six haor upazilas was 4,07,598 tonnes but the yielded was 3,02,558 tonnes. A total of 1, 58,567 hectors of land were brought under Boro cultivation in the district this year. Farmers said, they may not get the targeted production this year also if the fertiliser crisis is not resolved right now. Deputy Director Abdul Baten of Kishoreganj AED however said there was no crisis of fertilier in the district. Other AED sources said they got 38,422 tonnes of urea against the demand for 42,669 tonnes. They howver said Jirati farmers were being listed for fertiliser. There is no sanction for Jirati farmers but they are terying to manage fertiliser for them, the officials said.

The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) on Sunday asked the government to increase wheat procurement target from 25 per cent to 40 per cent. The chamber's senior vice-president Dr Shahnawaz Shah said at a meeting at the Agriculture Complex that the government should pay growers an additional Rs40 for each 40 kilogrammes of wheat from its own funds to help them offset the high cost of fertilisers and pesticides. The meeting observed that the poor growers would suffer huge losses as the cost of production was much higher than the government's procurement rate of Rs510 per maund and demanded that the procurement offices should be established at union council level and the mode of payment to growers should be simplified. The growers called upon the newly-elected members of the national and provincial assemblies to take up the issue of sugarcane at the first session of assemblies and adopt resolutions against the excesses of sugar mill owners. They demanded that assemblies should ensure that the growers were paid the official rate of Rs63 per 40 kg and pointed out that the cane's production in the province had dropped by 20 per cent due to sugar mill owners' highhandedness and reduced price. Anwar Bachani, Mir Imdad Talpur, Mohammad Khan Sarejo and Nawaz Ali Samejo were among the participants of the meeting. HCCI: The president of the Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Haji Mohammad Yaqoob on Sunday criticised raids on glass bangle factories by the officials of labour department and said it had seriously hurt the business. He said after meeting a delegation of the office-bearers of Glass Bangle Association that if bangle manufacturing units were closed due to harassment, thousands of workers including a large number of would lose their jobs. He said that the additional director and joint director of labour usually raided factories sometime before morning prayers, which was adversely affecting the production process. Under the relevant labour laws, the officials were supposed to visit the factories only once a year and they were creating harassment by conducting raids on a daily basis, he said. In a separate statement to press, the HCCI president demanded that the government should take back raise in the prices of petrol, diesel and electricity. Increase in power tariff would deal a serious blow to agricultural and industrial production and raise in oil prices would further ratchet up transport fare and prices of other essential items, he said. The cost of industrial production would shoot up considerably due to increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and electricity, which in turn would lead to hyperinflation, he observed. He said that the country was in the grip of energy crisis and urged the government to formulate short term and long term policies to tackle the problem.

almost 57 per cent of geographical area in India suffers soil degradation. The reason attributed for this is often chemical intensive agricultural practices. But a recently published research

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11: The UPA Government's proposed shift to a nutrient-based fertilisers subsidy from a product-based regime will be a gradual one in the 2008 -09 financial year. According to sources, since the new subsidy regime may lead to price revision of the fertiliser products, the "implementation of the new regime could be gradual'.

the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is deliberating on a mechanism to promote neem-coated fertili

lakkhan Raghuwanshi had a bad harvest last monsoon. The farmer from Shyampur village, Guna district, cultivated soyabean, wheat and chana in 121 hectare (ha), of which he sowed soyabean in 61 ha.

Sri Lanka pulls the plug on exports