Decoding the misleading media reports on the lack of availability of Fertilizers at RBKs

Recently there are media reports on the lack of availability of UREA at RBKs (Rythu Bharosa Kendra) at multiple locations in local areas in East and West Godavari districts. As the reports came, our team reached out to the Commissioners office and also the district headquarters to investigate the matter. Here we are decoding the exaggerated media reports and the facts that we obtained from the Department of Agriculture.

Understanding the Model of RBK – A Rythu Bharosa Kendra is a one-stop solution for all the farming-related support in a village and currently, there is a network of 10,778 RBKs in the state. RBKs offer necessary support to the farmers with the help of cutting-edge technology. The farmer can sell his produce at MSP marked in the RBK. The farmer can buy seeds, fertilizers, and all related equipment from RBK. The farmer can buy UREA/Fertilizers at no extra price at their doorstep as there is at least one RBK in each village.

Understanding the supply chain: Previously UREA was available only at Cooperative Societies at Mandal level and some private players were also offering their stock. This system had instances of fake fertilizers being sold to the farmers, lack of transparency and also there was a higher cost of transportation involved. Since the arrival of RBKs, the farmers have an option to buy the certified UREA/fertilizer from a nearby RBK, in their village. This reduced the time and cost of transportation. So many farmers are preferring to buy their required fertilizer/UREA at RBKs only.

Availability and the Distribution: The Supply of UREA to RBKs is being done as a priority. The required amount that is planned is available and special focus has been given to East and West Godavari districts in Rabi season. The below data shows the availability, Demand, Supply and Distribution of the UREA stock at RBKs at the district level.

Concerned supply issue, that got resolved but yet exaggerated: At certain RBKs due to the high footfall of farmers, a systemized approach through token and queue has been put in place. So, there was a waiting period for farmers at those few places. There was a waiting time but there was no issue of unavailability of UREA as reported by the media.

There was an isolated issue of a small theft of a small quantity of UREA, which was just a single instance and has nothing to do with the supply chain. Which was mentioned in the media in connection with the supply chain.

We are committed to the well being of the farmers and there is a special focus to Godavari districts, in Rabi Season. We assure the farmers that there is sufficient amount of UREA available with us and they can buy it in required quantities from RBKs.

Arun Kumar (IAS)
Commissioner, Deparrtment of Agriculture (AP)