Severe shortage of DAP fertliser threatens to hit India’s winter crop

A severe shortage of diammonium phosphate (DAP), a key fertiliser during the current rabi season, has forced the Centre to cut the allocation for many states. This is likely to reduce the yield of key winter crops such as wheat, mustard and chana.

About a third of DAP’s annual demand of nearly 119 lakh tonne is met by domestic production in the country while the rest is imported. Consumption of DAP fertliser is more during the rabi season, about 65 lakh tonnes, compared with 54 lakh tonnes during the kharif period.

According to Financial Express, the Centre has allocated only 67,000 tonnes of DAP for Rajasthan during October against a demand of 1.5 lakh tonnes. Only 2 lakh tonnes have been sanctioned for Punjab against its requirement of 5.5 lakh tonnes for the entire season. Madhya Pradesh has about 4 lakh tonnes of DAP demand during October and is said to be facing a 30-40% shortage.

Maharashtra is meeting DAP demand for October from the carryover stock of kharif as there was no allocation this month. There may be a severe shortage next month if supplies are not augmented in October. Haryana is fortunate to meet the entire demand of 1.1 lakh tonnes in October as the state has already about 45,000 tonnes of DAP and is expecting to receive 60,000 tonnes more this month.

Uttar Pradesh, the largest producer of wheat, too have 5.06 lakh tonnes of stock available against 4.25 lakh tonnes required for the entire month.

India is estimated to import 46.58 lakh tonne of DAP to meet the demand in the current rabi reason, according to an industry estimate. The government is likely to allocate an additional Rs 25,000 crore as subsidy on fertilisers, including about Rs 8,300 crore on DAP, for the current financial year to insulate farmers from rising global prices. The government has set a target of 155.88 million tonnes (MT) of foodgrains, including 110 MT of wheat and 15.18 MT of pulses. The target for rabi oilseeds has been fixed at 11.3 MT, which includes 10.2 MT of mustard.

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