Chemicals & Fertilizers Ministry told companies not to tag other manures along with subsidised fertilisers.
The Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry told fertiliser companies that they had to take off-take of fertilisers, organic manure (FOM), and subsidised products. However, the State Agriculture Department of Kerala came out against tagging fertilisers.
The decision was made because of complaints from people who sell fertiliser and licenced people who make fertiliser mixtures. In a letter from June 15, the Additional Director of Agriculture said that fertiliser suppliers are putting fertilisers on the same tags as nano-urea and organic fertilisers when they send them to wholesalers and retailers.
The letter said, ‘This will be taken seriously, as the Centre has already told the suppliers that tagging of fertilisers is not allowed.’ Also Read | Kerala Forest Development Corporation use e-commerce to market organic cardamom.
Farmers don’t know what benefits
It is clear that nano urea and organic manures have to have urea and potash written on them. Farmers don’t know how to use nano urea or what its benefits are, so the letter said that companies that sell it should do programmes to teach them, such as field demonstrations.
Since there were a lot of complaints, the Directorate of Agriculture put out rules that had to be followed very closely. It said that fertilisers shouldn’t be tagged by wholesalers or retailers, and retailers should be told not to tag the fertilisers they sell to farmers.
In a letter sent to all PSU fertiliser manufacturing companies on May 27, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers asked them to arrange for the offtake of FOM and emphasised the need to promote all other organic and bio-fertilizers as part of integrated nutrient management (INM). The decision was made at a meeting of the Gobardhan task force in February of this year.
As a ‘basket approach’ to make sure that crops are healthy and balanced, it was decided that all companies that make fertilisers should make sure that FOM and other organic and bio-fertilizers are used along with chemical fertilisers.
But the Ministry’s order has made things hard for people who sell fertiliser and make mixtures in Kerala, especially because they have to buy nano urea along with potash and urea. They said that companies don’t sell urea without nano urea, which costs 240 for a half-litre and hasn’t gotten much attention from farmers in the State.
Kerala needs about 4 million tonnes of fertiliser each year, including 1.5 to 2 million tonnes of urea, complex fertiliser, Muriate of potash (MOP), and di-ammonium phosphate (DAP). Also Read | Pondicherry leads fertilizer consumption followed by Telangana and Punjab.
Official sources say that the need to buy nano urea is part of the Central government’s plan to stop people from using subsidised solid urea for soil protection in the wrong way. There are rumours that subsidised urea is being used in factories, so the government wanted to keep an eye on it to help the farming community.