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    Govt to make purchase of bio-fertilisers compulsory with urea to reduce use of chemicals

    Synopsis

    A task force constituted for promoting balanced and sustainable use of chemical fertilisers has suggested bundling bio-fertiliser with urea bags.

    A task force has also also asked government to promote drip-fertigation technique in which fertiliser is incorporated within the irrigation water by the drip system. It conserves 30-40% nutrients and cut down water use by 50%.
    New Delhi: The government is likely to make purchase of bio-fertiliser compulsory for every bag of urea a farmer buys to promote organic nutrients and slash the use of chemical fertilisers.

    A task force constituted for promoting balanced and sustainable use of chemical fertilisers has suggested bundling bio-fertiliser with urea bags. It has also asked government to promote drip-fertigation technique in which fertiliser is incorporated within the irrigation water by the drip system. It conserves 30-40% nutrients and cut down water use by 50%.

    “We have been (told) to devise a mechanism for cutting use of chemicals and urea in agriculture. Recently, the Prime Minister has urged farmers to reduce use of urea. This has become necessary for conserving soil fertility,” said a senior agriculture ministry official.

    He said the task force also suggested formulation of crop-wise nutrient requirements to curb excess use of chemicals and fertilisers. “All crops do not require the nutrients in the same ratio. So the application of nutrients in terms of fertiliser requirement should be in tune with nutrient ratio desired for that crop. Advisories should be issued,” said the official.

    The official said urea should be brought under Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) policy for better subsidy management. Under the scheme, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis is provided on each grade of subsidised fertilisers based on their nutrient content.

    “Currently urea is sold at a fixed price decided by the government, irrespective of its cost. The price difference is being given to manufacturers as subsidy. This is promoting overuse of urea, whose overdose is harmful for soil fertility. Subsidy, subsequently, should be passed on directly in farmers’ bank accounts,” he said.
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    18 Comments on this Story

    Ashutosh Deshpande158 days ago
    This is a disaster waiting to happen. Bio-Fertilisers are more expensive and there is no mechanism to check quality of bio-fertilisers and provide a quality assurance to farmers. A better policy would be to do away with the subsidy on Urea and instead provide the farmers that money via DBT. That will automatically balance fertiliser use.
    Rahul Agrawal158 days ago
    Best way is to increase urea prices..but the govt lacks the will to do it.
    Mahendra B.rao158 days ago
    who will pay for that compulsory bio fertiliser? do you think farmer will pay and buy cow dung? looks like arm chair task force experts decided this seating in their AC luxury conference room.
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