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Nilgiris’ tea growers seek immediate supply of urea


Tea growers in The Nilgiris, the largest tea growing district in the South, are worried over the shortage of urea to enrich their fields.

“Because of a general shortfall in the availability of urea, the supplies are made on the basis of allocation — the Centre to the States and Tamil Nadu government to the districts — but tea growers are facing an acute shortage of urea in The Nilgiris district,” Ramesh Bhojarajan, President, The Nilgiris Small tea Growers’ Association, told BusinessLine.

He addded, “We understand that the allocation given for use in the agricultural fields as tea fields in The Nilgiris is inadequate to fulfill the actual requirements of the farmers, including tea growers. So, we have asked for higher overall allocation.”

“Besides, the estate suppliers are also suppliers in neighbouring districts like Coimbatore. Hence, they stock urea which is meant for The Nilgiris, in their warehouses in other districts thereby reducing the physical availability of urea in The Nilgiris,” he said.

He said, “Capping it, the government has imposed a ban on the inter-district movement of urea to ensure that the allocated volume is used within the concerned district. Hence, we are unable to procure urea stocked in neighbouring districts in the plains.”

A dealer said that only about one-tenth of the order placed by the dealers are given to them but the dealers take steps to distribute urea at the right time.

Shortage may affect crop

“Due to the nation-wide lockdown, tea growers had not applied fertiliser in the last three months. With the onset of rains, now is the correct time to apply urea but we fear the shortage may adversely affect the crop”, said L Vairavan, Director, Golden Hill Estate Pvt Ltd, Erinkadu Estate in Karumbalam, around 12 km from Coonoor.

“Too much of delay might even affect the health of the bushes and the leaves causing long term adversities,” he added.

“We have urged the State government to take necessary actions to ensure the immediate supply of adequate quantity of urea for the use of tea plantations in The Nilgiris,” Bhojarajan added.

An official of the district administration said that steps are being taken to bring urea to the district.


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