Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday urged farmers to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides by 20 per cent during the upcoming Rabi season and promised strict action against those diverting subsidized urea for uses other than agriculture.
Addressing nearly 1,000-plus farmers in 500 PMKSKs (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samridhi Kendra) here, Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya expressed concern over the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides affecting soil fertility and human health.
“There are alternatives”
“We have to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. Now there are alternatives like nano liquid urea, nano liquid DAP, bio-fertilizers and PROM (phosphorus rich organic fertilizer). I urge farmers to reduce their consumption of chemical fertilizers by 20% in the upcoming rabi sowing season. This should be replaced by alternative crop nutrients,” he said.
The minister’s call assumes significance as the sales of urea, diammonium phosphate and compound fertilizers in August were 57% higher than the target of about 5.2 million tonnes despite a monsoon deficit of 36% last month.
The minister also asked PMKSK operators to educate farmers to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Warning to dealers
Mandaviya also warned dealers and fertilizer companies against diverting highly subsidized urea to the industrial sector. “We have a zero-tolerance policy against the diversion of agricultural-grade urea into industry. A statement issued by the Fertilizer Ministry quoted the minister as saying that a detailed action plan has been prepared to combat diversion.
There have been instances in the past of diversion of agricultural grade urea to industries manufacturing resin/glue, plywood, pottery, molding powder, cattle feed and industrial mining explosives as it cost farmers in neem coating areas Rs 266/- after subsidy Bag 45 kg.
Meanwhile, the minister also said that the government plans to organize ‘Kisan Samridhi Mahotsav’ in mid-October to highlight the initiatives taken over the past nine years to improve farmers’ income, in which ‘Krishi Ratha Yatras’ will also be organized. Coincidentally, the events will take place during campaigns in five states scheduled to vote in December.