Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to look into the fertiliser pricing policy to keep prices of the plant nutrients at affordable levels and protect farmers' interests.
"I strongly believe that the Government of India can do more in controlling fertiliser prices in the interest of farmers...," Banerjee said in a letter to the Prime Minister.
This is particularly for the small and marginal farmers who constitute 95 per cent of cultivable land in West Bengal, she said.
Drawing his attention to the steep increase in fertiliser prices over the last two years, Banerjee said the rate of escalation in prices, except in case of urea, was very high and varied from 116 per cent to 277 per cent.
"During the last six months, the price of Murate of Potash (MOP) has increased by about 50 per cent, the price of Single Super Phosphate (SSP) has increased by about 30 per cent while that of Boronated SSP has increased by 25 per cent," she said.
The chief minister said, "You will agree that fertiliser being critical input for agriculture production, such steep increase in fertiliser prices will increase the cost of production sharply which may make the agriculture production unremunerative."
"This will affect not only the livelihood of farmers, but also encourage unbalanced use of nutrients, thereby affecting the agricultural production as a whole," the letter said.