A significant increase in the use of bio-fertilizers in the country. According to a reply in Lok Sabha, the number of times bio-fertilizers are used in the country has gone up by a lot.
The amount of carrier-based bio-fertilizers made in the country went up by 113.23 percent, from 79,436.70 tonnes in 2019-20 to 1.69 lakh tonnes (lt) in 2021-22. The production of liquid-based bio-fertilizers went up by 673.72 percent, from 30,105.90 kilo litres (kl) in 2019–20 to 2.32 lakh kl in 2021–22.
In Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, answered a question about the challenges of promoting bio-fertilizers among farmers and the steps that have been taken to deal with them. He said that the biggest problems are keeping bio-fertilizers working well and keeping an eye on their quality.
‘Farmers aren’t as interested in bio-fertilizers as they are in chemical fertilizers, mostly because they think chemical fertilizers have more nutrients than bio-fertilizers, which don’t come directly from nutrients. Second, because biofertilizers are made from living things, they are sensitive to temperature and have a short shelf life, which makes them hard to store and get to farmers. Also, bio-fertilizer has less of an effect on crop growth after chemical fertilizer has been used,’ he said.
He did say, though, that the government has taken different steps to get farmers to use bio-fertilizers.
Tomar answered another question about the effects of land degradation by saying that different types of land degradation affect 104.2 million hectares of arable land in India. This is broken down by wind and water for 85.7 mh, by chemicals for 17.5 mh, and by physical wear and tear for 1.1 mh.
In response to a question about the production and consumption of millets, the Minister said that States like Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra are implementing State millet missions to increase the production and consumption of millets.
The average amount of millet produced in the country from 2019-20 to 2021-22 was 17.06 lt. The most of this was from Rajasthan, which got 4.86 lt. The next most was from Karnataka, which got 2.39 lt., and Uttar Pradesh got 2.23 lt.
In response to a question about self-sufficiency in the production of edible oil, Tomar said that From 2018 to 2019, the country is implementing the National Food Security Mission-Oilseeds (NFSM-OS). The goal is to make more edible oils available and reduce the amount of oil that needs to be imported by increasing the production and productivity of oilseeds (like groundnut, soyabean, rapeseed, mustard, sunflower, safflower, sesame, niger, linseed, and castor) and the area of oil palm and tree-borne oilseeds (like olive, mahua, kokum, wild apricot, neem, and He said that the scheme has parts like NFSM-Oilseeds, NFSM-Oil Palm, and NFSM-Tree Borne Oilseeds.
How well MSP works
In response to a question about how well MSP (minimum support price) works, the Minister said that the NITI Aayog had published a study called ‘Efficacy of Minimum Support Prices on Farmers’ in 2016. The study looked at 14 States, 36 districts, 72 blocks, 144 villages, and 1440 households.
The study found, among other things, that the government’s announcement of MSP encouraged 78% of the farmers who took part in the study to use better farming methods, such as high-yielding varieties of seeds, organic manure, chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and better ways to harvest, among other things, he said.