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Government Should Provide Incentives for Use of Organic Fertilizers to Farmers, says Dr. AR Shukla, President IBA

Krishi Jagran interacted with dignitaries of the Indian biogas association.

Shivani Meena
Dr. AR Shukla, President IBA
Dr. AR Shukla, President IBA

An ever-increasing population equals an ever-increasing need for energy. The enormity of energy today cannot be ignored. It is necessary for all aspects of life. Renewable and non- renewable are two categories in which the energy sources can be divided.

Knowing that non-renewable resources will eventually deplete, the importance of renewable energy sources cannot be overestimated. And here comes biomass and its utilization for biogas, a renewable energy source. 

The "Indian Biogas Association" (IBA) is India's first nationwide and professional biogas association, bringing together biogas plant operators, manufacturers, and planners, as well as officials from public policy, science, and research. 

The organization was founded in 2011 and revived in 2015 to promote biogas as a means of achieving a greener future. 

Krishi Jagran got an opportunity to talk and Interact with Dr. AR Shukla, President of the Indian Biogas Association, and Gaurav Kedia, Chairman of the Indian Biogas Association.  

Gaurav Kedia, Chairman Indian Biogas Association told the story behind Indian Biogas Association and its main objective. Indian Biogas association is an association with the primary objective to “promote Biogas sustainably”. When it comes to sustainability, there are three verticals, the first being technical, the second being financial and the third being the social vertical, he said. The main motivation for the promotion of biogas and the establishment of IBA came from the challenge that Russia will stop the gas supply to Europe. That will further hinder the demand for gas supply and that supply can only be catered by biogas production. Here in India, there is not only the need for innovative things but there is also a need for an awareness program to utilize the things correctly, He added. 

There is a hidden part of the Biogas plant which is the organic part of the biogas plant “the organic or the fertilizer part, he added. Nowadays, there is a rapidly increasing demand for Organic food and to grow that much organic food, we require organic fertilizers. This need can also be mitigated with the by-product part of the biogas plant, he said. 

Indian soil is deprived of many nutrients and it is now going in the direction where it will lose all of its fertility ultimately getting into desertification. A significant portion, “60%” of Indian soil is now going in the direction of desertification because of chemical fertilizers and pesticide uses, which need immediate attention, he added. 

The association is working tirelessly towards organic farming and sustainable agriculture with two parts of the Biogas plant the “gas part” and the “solid organic part” which can be used as organic fertilizer. Now both parts of the biogas fertilizer plants received legal status which was not given to the solid part earlier by the government, he added. 

Dr. AR Shukla, President Indian Biogas Association talked about how biogas plant is related to the farmer community. There are two parts of the biogas plant which are 50% of biogas and the other 50% of fertilizer. This is why the biogas plant was renamed to “biogas fertilizer plant” rather than saying it biogas plant only, he said. 

There are many ways in which the waste biomass of agri produce can be used by farmers in their crop cultivation. Various kinds of composting including traditional composting, improved composting, composting using electricity as well as composting with chemicals can be performed to convert the agri waste to organic fertilizer which can be further utilized by 100%, he continued. 

He listed out major benefits of using the organic fertilizer: 

  • Increased water retention capacity

  • Soil Fertility

  • Reduced synthetic fertilizer usage

  • Significant reduction in irrigation requirements

There is a need to reap the potential of organic fertilizer and this can be accomplished when agriculture universities mandate the use of organic fertilizer made from agro-waste and other sources of biomass, he added. 

This can only be done with support from farmers, the government, universities as well as agrochemical industries.

Government should promote biogas fertilizer plants by mandating the installation and by giving incentives to the farmers for using organic fertilizers and for agrochemical industries to shift their production from synthetic fertilizer to organic fertilizer. He said that this can make a significant impact on sustainable agriculture and the future. 

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