1. Agriculture World

Centre Looks at Bio Nutrients to Move Away from Urea-Based Fertilisers

The government increased fertiliser subsidies by 1.10 lakh crore in April this year, exceeding the 1.05 lakh crore budgeted for 2022-23. This brings the total fertiliser subsidy for the fiscal year to a new high of 2.15 lakh crore for 2022-23, up from 1.62 lakh crore in 2021-22.

Shivam Dwivedi
Farmer Spraying Fertilizer in Field
Farmer Spraying Fertilizer in Field

Government is finalizing a plan to develop alternative sources of plant nutrition, such as biofertilizers and organic fertilizers, to replace urea-based fertilizers, with the goal of making India 'Atmanirbhar' in fertilizer production and controlling the year-on-year increase in fertilizer subsidy due to rising input costs.

A long-term plan for in-house production of these nutrients is being developed to protect farmers from sudden price increases while reducing the government's subsidy bill, according to a senior government official aware of the developments.

"It is natural for fertilizer prices to rise in tandem with energy prices. It is past time for India to transition to commercially viable organic fertilizers" According to the official.

The government increased fertilizer subsidies by 1.10 lakh crore in April this year, exceeding the 1.05 lakh crore budgeted for 2022-23. This brings the total fertilizer subsidy for the fiscal year to a new high of 2.15 lakh crore for 2022-23, up from 1.62 lakh crore in 2021-22.

According to the plan, the government intends to commercialize the use of cow manure as a biofertilizer and bio-energy from 'gaushalas' on a large scale. This will aid in the conversion of cattle into economic assets while also providing a sustainable and consistent supply of alternative nutrient sources such as vermicompost and global biogas.

In addition, a dedicated policy framework is being developed to support biofertilizer production, packaging, marketing, and distribution. The government is expected to take the PPP route, enlisting the help of large gaushalas, dairy cooperatives, and farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to produce enriched solid and liquid biofertilizers.

What are Bio-Nutrients?

Bio-nutrients are natural-source supplements that help improve a plant's ability to thrive without the use of chemicals. Bio-nutrients improve plant uptake and the ability of the roots to absorb water from the soil, while also lowering the number of pesticides and fertilizer required to achieve a beautiful and healthy lawn.

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