The district administration of Visakhapatnam is working on a software-based solution to regulate the excessive amount of urea used by farmers. Earlier this year, District Collector N. Yuvaraj had warned farmers against the indiscriminate use of urea and pesticides.
He had said that a software-driven plan should be developed to monitor the use of urea. The collector also spoke about the harmful effects of urea on the health of the people and how it reduces the vitality of the soil.
Picture for representation only. Source: Flickr
Farmers tend to use more urea because it gives a lush, green look to the crop. According to an official of the Agriculture Department, farmers also look at it as the substitute for expensive fertilizers. Currently, the same farmers go to different fertiliser outlets to buy urea again and again. Even farmers who cannot afford it are doing the same, which in turn increases the cost of farming.
“The software will be integrated with all primary agricultural credit societies and fertilizer dealers, and land details provided from Web Land, the State government’s portal that covers all land details. Once a farmer goes to any shop and buys the fertilizer using an app or computer it will record the quantity online and he can’t buy a second time,” N. Yuvaraj told The Hindu.
The land details and the type of crop sown by farmers will help the software calculate the amount of urea needed. The city will pilot the software during the present Kharif season and it will be expanded in the coming seasons. The development of the software is currently in its final stages.
Four sugar factories that supply fertilizers to farmers will also be added to the platform. Additionally, the village revenue officers and personnel of the Agriculture Department will use an app named e-crop booking to keep a record the crops sown.
According to officials of the Agriculture Department, the total quantity of urea used by farmers during the last Kharif season was around 30,000 tonnes. They plan to bring this down by 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes this year.
The DC urged farmers to use urea according to the directions provided on the soil health cards by experts. The district administration is also conducting the ‘Polam Pilustondi’ programme (farmers awareness programme) to create awareness among 4.5 lakh farmers about the use of urea. The collector told fertiliser dealers, representatives of various agricultural cooperatives and the agriculture department authorities that quality seeds and fertilisers should be supplied to farmers.