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Fertilizer Update: Adequate Urea Supply, Fertilizer & Food Subsidy and Water-Soluble Fertilizers

The government in the Indian state Uttar Pradesh has directed fertilizer companies to ensure adequate supplies of urea and other soil nutrients in the current Rabi season. The state’s agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi chaired a meeting with the representatives of leading fertilizer companies here recently and asked them to ensure seamless availability of urea for farmers at co-operative society outlets. Shahi underlined that the Adityanath government had taken proactive measures to ensure there was no shortage of urea and other fertilizers during the Rabi sowing period. The state had made arrangements for more than 2.26 million tones (MT) of urea so far in the current Rabi season in UP against the mandated stock of about 2.1 MT.
Meanwhile, in the Indian state Odisha, procurement of paddy during the ongoing 2019-20 Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) is, for the first time, being done from registered farmers only after Aadhaar-based biometric authentication. First, it was fertilizers, where the NDA government made disbursal of subsidy conditional upon actual sales to farmers getting registered on PoS (Point of Sale) machines in retail outlets. That reform measure – to ensure that the benefit of minimum support price (MSP)-based procurement of paddy and wheat goes only to farmers – is now being extended to food subsidy. More significant, however, is the move underway in Punjab, where government agencies have made a beginning in getting arhatiyas to provide bank account numbers of farmers. These are to be linked to the Centre’s Public Financial Management System (PFMS) network, enabling transfer of MSP money directly into farmers’ accounts. Haryana is set to follow.
In another Indian state, Gujarat, in a bid to encourage use of high-grade agri-inputs, the Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation (GAIC) has launched imported water-soluble fertilizers in its capital city Ahmedabad. The state agency, which promotes agro-based industries in Gujarat, has already imported 300 tones of water-soluble fertilizers from China. GAIC’s role will be to import, package and sell the imported water-soluble fertilizers to the farmers through its network of dealers across the state. The new-generation fertilizers will be sold in the market under its brand – ‘AGRO’. It also plans to launch customized grades of stage-specific and crop-specific fertilizers. At the launch event, GAIC Chairman Madhu Shrivastav emphasized the need for precision agriculture and use of high-grade agri-inputs for improving the yield and quality for better remuneration.

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