1. Agriculture World

ASHA Tells Centre to Draft Law on Fertilizer Regulation

ASHA, a volunteer-led organization dedicated to promoting sustainable farm livelihoods and farmer rights in India, sought a method that would allow state governments to manage the price, distribution, and movement of fertilizers notified by them on a regular basis.

Abha Toppo
Feeding Fertilizer to Plant
Feeding Fertilizer to Plant

Some clauses in the Draft Integrated Plant Nutrition Management Bill, 2022 have been criticized by the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), which claims that they take away the rights of states and farmers. It seeks a clause that allows farmers or other disgruntled parties to take legal proceedings if they are not happy with the appellate authority's resolutions, rather to a measure that may criminalize farmers.

ASHA, a volunteer-led organization dedicated to promoting sustainable farm livelihoods and farmer rights in India, sought a method that would allow state governments to manage the price, distribution, and movement of fertilizers notified by them on a regular basis.

"It is critical that state governments regulate bio-fertilizers, bio-stimulants, and non-edible de-oiled cakes to suit their particular conditions," it stated. Farmers should be protected from any unintended criminalization and penalization implications, according to ASHA's comments to the draught proposed by the Union Ministry of Fertilizers.

"Any restrictions on the use of fertilizers should exclude farmers and not criminalize them in any manner," it stated.

For bio-stimulants, organic fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, and non-edible de-oiled cakes, a different method should be in place to encourage localized production for localized distribution.

"This should apply to both manufacturing and real sale, stocking, and distribution of a certain set of fertilizers." This should be under the purview of state governments," it went on to say.

Needs Compensation

ASHA believed that the regulation should actually incentivize self-help groups, NGOs, and pastoralists to produce organic fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, bio-stimulate, and non-edible de-oiled cakes for local markets, referring to the provision that prohibits individuals from manufacturing, selling, and marketing fertilizers without "obtaining the appropriate registration."

It urged the government to put out compensation methods for farmers who bought substandard, misbranded, or spurious fertilizers at the taluka level in the statute itself.

"While the full regulation of fertilizers is now being suggested under this new legislation, the Consumer Protection Act is not an appropriate statute where farmers may hope to get justice," it felt. It would also call for the establishment of a fund to handle the payment of compensation to farmers.

ASHA criticized the section that prevents civil courts from having jurisdiction over topics covered by the Act, arguing that aggrieved parties who are not pleased with the appellate authority's decision should be able to appeal.

Stay tuned with Krishi Jagran for more Agri News!!

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