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Govt Implements Multi-Pronged Strategies to Prevent Fertilizer Diversion & Black Marketing

The Indian government has implemented a series of measures to prevent malpractice and ensure high-quality fertilizers for farmers. These measures have led to the prevention of the diversion & black marketing of fertilizers throughout the country.

Shivam Dwivedi
Govt Implements Multi-Pronged Strategies to Prevent Fertilizer Diversion & Black Marketing
Govt Implements Multi-Pronged Strategies to Prevent Fertilizer Diversion & Black Marketing

To resolve these issues, specialized teams of officers, known as Fertilizer Flying Squads (FFS), have been formed to monitor and prevent the diversion, black marketing, hoarding, and distribution of substandard fertilizers.​

The FFS has conducted over 370 surprise inspections across 15 States/UTs, focusing on mixture units, Single Superphosphate (SSP) units, and NPK units.

As a result of these inspections, 30 FIRs have been registered for the diversion of urea, and 70,000 bags of suspected urea have been seized from Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. The FFS has also inspected three border districts of Bihar (Araria, Purnia, W.Champaran), leading to three FIRs being filed against urea-diverting units. Furthermore, 10, including three mixture manufacturing units in border districts, have been deauthorized.

A total of 112 mixture manufacturers have been deauthorized due to discrepancies and lapses found in their documentation and procedures. To ensure the quality of fertilizers, sample testing has been ramped up with 268 samples tested as of now. Out of these samples, 89 have been declared sub-standard, and 120 have been found with neem oil content.

Additionally, 11 individuals have been jailed under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies (PBM) Act for the diversion and black marketing of urea in the last year. The States have also exercised various legal and administrative proceedings through the Essential Commodities (EC) Act and Fertilizer Control Order (FCO).

These steps have helped in preventing the diversion of urea meant for agricultural purposes, even during a global fertilizer crisis. The Indian government is providing urea to farmers at subsidized rates, with a 45 kg bag of urea costing approximately Rs. 2,500 and being sold for Rs. 266.

Urea is not only used for agricultural purposes but also in other industries such as UF resin/glue, plywood, resin, crockery, moulding powder, cattle feed, dairy, and industrial mining explosives. Any illegal diversion of highly subsidized urea intended for farmers and agriculture to non-agricultural/industrial purposes by private entities leads to a shortage of urea for farmers.

Besides the above measures, the government has also encouraged innovative practices, such as new mixture modules that have been developed in the Integrated Fertilize Management System (IFMS) by the Department of Fertilizers. These measures will help in ensuring that farmers receive high-quality fertilizers and that the agricultural sector in India remains robust.

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