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Dr. Mandaviya's Virtual Interaction with Agri Ministers of States & UTs: Special Package for Farmers Announced

The approved package by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs demonstrates the government's commitment to uplifting farmers and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Shivam Dwivedi
Dr. Mandaviya's Virtual Interaction with Agri Ministers of States & UTs: Special Package for Farmers Announced (Photo Source: @Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya twitter)
Dr. Mandaviya's Virtual Interaction with Agri Ministers of States & UTs: Special Package for Farmers Announced (Photo Source: @Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya twitter)

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for a comprehensive package of innovative schemes aimed at benefiting farmers. With a total budget of Rs. 3,68,676.7 crore, these schemes prioritize the welfare and economic well-being of farmers while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers and Health and Family Welfare, highlighted the significance of these initiatives during his virtual address to the agriculture ministers of Union Territories.

The virtual meeting witnessed the participation of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, as well as agriculture ministers from over 20 states and union territories. Dr. Mandaviya emphasized that the CCEA has granted approval for the continuation of the urea subsidy scheme, ensuring that farmers have access to urea at a fixed price of Rs 266.70 per 45 kg bag, excluding taxes and neem coating charges.

As part of the package, Rs. 3,68,676.7 crore has been allocated for urea subsidy over a three-year period (2022-23 to 2024-25). This additional package complements the recently approved Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) of Rs. 38,000 crore for the upcoming Kharif season of 2023-24. Consequently, farmers will not bear any additional expenses for procuring urea, thus reducing their input costs.

Presently, the maximum retail price (MRP) of urea stands at Rs. 266.70 per 45 kg bag (excluding neem coating duty and applicable taxes), while the actual cost of the bag amounts to approximately Rs. 2,200. The scheme is entirely funded by the Government of India through budgetary support, contributing to the maximum production of indigenous urea.

Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, the Minister for Fertilizers and Chemicals, emphasized the importance of natural farming methods and the balanced use of chemical fertilizers to preserve soil health. He noted that Mother Earth has always provided abundant resources to sustain humanity, and it is crucial to promote natural farming techniques and sustainable utilization of chemical fertilizers.

In line with this, the Prime Minister's Program for Restoration, Awareness, Nurturing, and Improvement of Fertility of Mother Earth (PM-PRANAM) has been launched to encourage states to adopt a balanced approach to alternative and chemical fertilizers. Dr. Mandaviya urged all states to join hands in promoting organic farming for the preservation of soil health.

To facilitate the marketing of organic fertilizers produced from Gobardhan plants, Rs. 1,451.84 crore has been sanctioned for Market Development Assistance (MDA). The MDA scheme includes a subsidy of Rs. 1,500 per metric ton for promoting organic fertilizers such as Fermented Organic Manure (FOM), Liquid FOM, and Phosphate Rich Organic Manure (PROM) obtained as by-products from Biogas Plants and Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) Plants established under the Gobardhan initiative. These organic fertilizers will be branded as FOM, LFOM, and PROM, respectively. Not only will this initiative aid in managing post-harvest residues and resolving stubble burning issues, but it will also contribute to a cleaner and safer environment, while providing an additional source of income for farmers. The organic fertilizers will be made available to farmers at affordable prices.

In a significant development, the introduction of Sulfur Coated Urea (Urea Gold) aims to address sulfur deficiencies in soil and reduce farmers' input costs. Urea Gold, a more cost-effective and superior alternative to the currently used neem-coated urea, will alleviate sulfur deficiencies in Indian soils. This innovation will not only save farmers' expenses but also boost their income by increasing production and productivity.

Dr. Mandaviya also appealed to the states to take effective measures to prevent the diversion of urea, intended for agriculture and farmers, to other sectors. Stressing the importance of preventing urea diversion to industries, he emphasized the need to ensure that urea is solely utilized for agricultural purposes and to support the farming community.

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