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Integrated Nutrient Management (Fertilizers)

The main objective of Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) Division is to ensure adequate availability of quality fertilizers to farmers through periodical demand assessment and timely supply, promoting integrated nutrient management, which is soil test-based judicious and balanced use of chemical fertilizers in conjunction with organic manures and bio-fertilizers, promotion of organic farming and ensuring quality control of fertilizers through implementation of Fertilizer (Control) Order, 1985.

Fertiliser Consumption

India is the third largest producer and consumer of fertilizers in the world after China and the USA. Against 21.65 million tonnes of fertilizer nutrients (NPK) consumed during 2006-07, the nutrient consumption is 22.57 million tonnes during 2007-08. The consumption of major fertilizers namely, Urea, DAP, MOP, SSP and Complexes were 25.96, 7.50, 2.88, 2.29 and 6.57 million tonnes during 2007-08. India is by and large self sufficient in respect of Urea and about 90 per cent in case of DAP. The all India average fertilizer consumption is 116.5 kg/ha of NPK nutrients, though there is wide variation from state to state varying from 212.7 kg/ha in Punjab, 208.2 kg/ha in Andhra Pradesh, 190.9 kg/ha in Haryana to less than 5 kg/ha in States like Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland etc. Considering the skewed pattern of fertilizer use, Government of India is promoting balanced and integrated use of fertilizer nutrient through various initiatives. As a result, NPK consumption ration has now improved to 5.5:2.1:1 during 2007-08 from 7.0:2.7:1 during 2000-01.

Price of Fertilizers

Presently urea is the only fertilizer which is under Statutory Price Control. To ensure adequate availability of fertilizers to farmers at reasonable rates, subsidy is provided by Government of India. Urea, the most consumed fertilizers, is subsidized under the New Urea Pricing Scheme, whereas P&K fertilizers, which are decontrolled, are covered under the Concession Scheme. The policy for uniform freight subsidy on all fertilizers under the fertilizer subsidy regime is also implemented. There is no change in the prices of major fertilizers since 28.02.2002. However, the prices of complexes grade of fertilizers have been reduced on nutrients based pricing of subsidized fertilizer w.e.f. 18.06.2008.

Prices of Major Fertilisers Level since June 2008
Fertilizer Product MRP (Rs. Per MT)
Urea 4830
DAP (Indigenous) 9350
Complexes 5121 - 8185
MOP 4455
SSP 3400

Buffer Stocking of P&K Fertilizers

A buffer stock of limited quantity of Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and Muriate of Potash (MOP) is being maintained at strategic locations to met emergent requirements. These stocks are in the nature of rolling stocks and are replenished when depleted. Besides meeting emergent needs, the Buffer Stock also helps to meet requirements of States which have low demand and hence sometimes find it difficult to induce suppliers to move fertilizers in small quantities.

Fertiliser Quality Control

Fertilizer is the most critical and costly input for sustaining agricultural production and ensuring food security of the country. The Government ensures the quality of fertilizers through Fertilizer Control Order (FCO), issued under Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to regulate, the trade, price, quality and distribution of fertilizers in the country. The State Governments are the enforcement agencies for implementation of the provisions of FCO, 1985. The Order strictly prohibits the manufacture, import and sale of any fertilizer, which does not meet prescribe standards. The FCO provides for compulsory registration of fertilizer manufacturers, importers and dealers, specifications of all fertilizes manufactured/imported and sold in the country, regulation on manufacture of fertilizer mixtures, packing and marking on the fertilizer bags, appointment of enforcement agencies, setting up of quality control laboratories and prohibition on manufacture/import and sale of non-standard/spurious/adulterated fertilizers. To check the quality of fertilizes sold in the country, there are 71 Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratories at present, which includes 4 Central Government laboratories namely; Central Fertilizer Quality Control & Traiing Institute, Faridabad and is three Regional Laboratories at Chennai, Navi Mumbai and Kalyani (Near Kolkata). These laboratories have a total annual analyzing capacity of 1.31 lakh samples. The analytical capacity and the number of samples analyzed and found non standard during the last 5 years are as follow:

The percentage of non standard samples on all India basis is hovering around 6% samples during last 5 years. However, there is a large variation from state to state.

Fertilizer Control Order, 1985

Analytical Capacity and the Number of Samples Analysed and found Non Standard during the last 5 Years
Year No. of Labs Annual Analytical capacity No. of samples analysed Percent-age of non standard samples
2004-05 67 120315 124,730 6.0
2005-06 67 120415 122,488 6.0
2006-07 68 125480 129,250 6.0
2007-08 68 124778 129,331 6.2
2008-09 71 124730 131,565 3.9

In pursuance of Clause 20 A of FCO, 1985, fertilizer companies namely, Chambal fertilizer Ltd., Sri Ram Fertilizer Ltd., Tata Chemicals, National Fertilizers Ltd and KRIBHCO have been permitted to manufacture neem coated urea as provisional fertilizer for commercial trial upto 3rd August, 2009. In order to encourage use of micronutrients, NRK complex fertilizer 15:15:15:9(S) have been included in FCO, 1985. Two new NPK 100% water soluble fertilizers 28:28:0 and 24:24:0 have also been notified under clause 20A provisionally. The specification of triple super phosphate has been revised under clause 20 of FCO, 1985 to enable easy availability of phosphatic fertilizer. 14 new grades of soil specific and crop specific customised fertilizers have been notified so far.

Promotion of Integrated Nutrient Management (INM)

The Government is promoting soil test-based balanced and judicious use of chemical fertilizers, biofertilizers and locally available organic manures like farmyard manure, compost, nadep compost, vermi compost and green manure to maintain soil health and its productivity. A Centrally Sponsored Scheme, "National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility" (NPMSF) has been approved during 2008-09 with an outlay of Rs.429.85 crores for the remaining period of XI Plan. The two existing schemes namely: i) centrally sponsored scheme of Balanced and Integrated Use of Fertilizers and ii) Central Sector Scheme "Strengthening of Central Fertilizer and Quality Control & Traiing Institutes and its Regional Labs. have been subsumed in the new scheme w.e.f. 1.4.2009. The components of the new scheme include setting up of 500 new soil testing laboratories, strengthening of the existing 315 soil testing laboratories, setting up of 250 mobile soil testing laboratories, promotion of organic manures, soil amendments and distribution of micro nutrients, setting up of 20 new fertilizers quality control laboratories and strengthening of 63 existing fertilizer quality control laboratories during 11th Plan.

There are 686 Soil Testing Laboratories (2007-08) in India. These include 560 static and 126 mobile Laboratories maintained by State Governments and fertilizer industry with an annual analyzing capacity of about 7 million soil samples. During 2008-09, an amount of Rs.16.63 crore has been released under NPMSF for 42 new Static Soil Testing Laboratories (STLs), 44 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories (MSTLs), strengthening of 39 existing soil testing laboratories, 2 new fertilizer quality control laboratories and strengthening of 19 existing fertilizers quality control laboratories (FQCLs) in 16 States.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 07-01-2011