Farmers protest shortage of urea in Bihar

September 13th, 2011 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Sep 13 (IANS) Hundreds of angry and worried farmers in parts of Bihar took to the streets Tuesday to protest shortage of fertilizers, particularly urea, in the market that they said would affect their standing paddy crop.

Paddy growers blocked roads at Masaurih in Patna district and at some places in Arwal district. Demonstrations were also held in some districts, including Gaya, and farmers demanded the government’s intervention.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar blamed the central government for the shortage, saying that Bihar’s share of urea for August was diverted to Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

An official of the agriculture department said: “Farmers have been protesting against shortage of fertilizers in the last few days.”

Farmers looted urea bags from trucks in Gaya district two days ago. A report reaching here said that farmers of Bharaudha village allegedly looted a urea-laden truck. Some urea bags were also allegedly looted by villagers in Manpur block of Gaya district. Police have lodged cases in both incidents.

In the last one week, farmers in Munger, Darbhanga, Bhojpur, Patna, Aurangabad and Jehanabad districts have also protested shortage of urea and other fertilisers.

Farmers in Rohtas and Kaimur districts, known as the rice bowl of Bihar, have threatened to disrupt train services if the government failed to provide them urea.

Radha Raman Prasad, the state’s assistant director, agriculture, said that diversion of Bihar’s quota of urea to other states has created a shortfall.

According to the official figure, an estimated 70 million people, two-thirds of Bihar’s population of 105 million, are dependent on agriculture for a living.

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