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Govt plans to set up research institute for fertilisers

Business Standard:  August 24, 2016

The Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers is contemplating to establish an Indian Council for Fertilizers Research to encourage development of new fertilisers and nutrients for the growth of agriculture sector in the country. 

“The government is soon planning to set up Indian Council for Fertilizers Research, on the lines of ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research). Research is very much required to discover and develop various means and ways of producing quality fertilisers, fortified fertilisers, hybrid fertilisers, nutrients and various combinations which are good for the soil. Research has a role to play in the all aspects of the fertiliser chain which includes production, transportation, storage, availability, application, etc,” said Ananth Kumar, Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, while inaugurating a conference of officers of state agriculture departments in New Delhi yesterday.

He advocated a ‘3A’ approach towards fertilisers in the country, these being authenticity (quality), availability and affordability. The ultimate aim of the government is to provide last mile timely availability of quality fertilisers at affordable rates to the farmers. This, he said, would ensure the fertilisers security of the country which is essential for the food security. 

Till two years back, the industry used to witness shortage of urea, leading to its hoarding, black-marketing and smuggling. According to Ananth Kumar, now the Indian fertiliser manufacturers are running their plants at over 100 per cent capacity, achieving an all-time record production of urea at 245 lakh MT last year. The timely imports, pre-positioning of the fertilisers, contribution of the states in timely distribution, and cooperation of the railways through good rake movement have also helped in making the fertiliser position comfortable in the country. 

Ananth Kumar asked the state government officials to enforce quality checks on the fertilisers, undertake district level planning for supply of fertilisers, ensure early turnaround of rakes, provide adequate storage facilities, and take benefit of pre-positioning. He also said that the unethical practices of the retailers and companies to tag certain items for selling to farmers along with the required fertilisers should be discouraged. To further improve the urea availability in the country, the government is reviving the sick fertiliser PSUs in the states where it is being consumed. 

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.