1. Agriculture World

Meghalaya Government Lifts Ban on Fertilizers, Will Give 50% Subsidy to Farmers

The Meghalaya State Cooperative Marketing and Consumers' Federation Limited (MeCOFED), a division of the cooperation department, would ultimately handle the distribution of these fertilizers.

Shruti Kandwal
The Meghalaya State Cooperative Marketing and Consumers' Federation Limited, a division of the cooperation department, would ultimately handle the distribution of these fertilizers.
The Meghalaya State Cooperative Marketing and Consumers' Federation Limited, a division of the cooperation department, would ultimately handle the distribution of these fertilizers.

The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government announced its plans to remove the ban on the usage of fertilizers and to give a 50% subsidy to farmers for the procurement of such fertilizers on Thursday, bringing a sigh of relief to the State's farming community.

However, the government has chosen to simultaneously raise awareness of the need to replace fertilizer use in order to further encourage organic farming.

The decision was made in response to the farmers' association's repeated requests following the 2014 fertilizer restriction, which had a negative impact on the state's farming community's ability to produce and generate income.

The government has agreed to withdraw the ban placed on the supply of fertilizers to the state of Meghalaya by the government under the leadership of Dr. Mukul Sangma back in 2014, according to deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong, who met with the delegation of the farmers' association on Thursday.

He stated that as of today, August 9, Meghalayan fertilizer suppliers are now authorized to do so, adding that "the interested stakeholders, the farmers, can now acquire these fertilizers."

He claims that because the Indian government's Ministry of Fertilizer regulates it, fertilizer is a controlled item.

Tynsong added that he and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma would actively urge the concerned ministry in Delhi the next week to establish a separate quota for the state of Meghalaya in order to ensure a steady supply of fertilizer.

The Meghalaya State Cooperative Marketing and Consumers' Federation Limited (MeCOFED), a division of the cooperation department, would ultimately handle the distribution of these fertilizers.

He added that the fertilizer shortage that began in 2014 and has continued to this day has forced all farmers to purchase fertilizer on the black market or otherwise illegally and that the cost has increased by up to four or five times from the initial price.

The deputy chief minister further announced the government’s decision to extend a 50% subsidy for the procurement of fertilizers.

When asked by how much the fertilizer restriction has damaged productivity, Tynsong responded,” By and large we found out that the production percentage has gone down right from 2014 till today. For example, if one farmer produces 100 kg of potato when they apply fertilizers but minus fertilizers that production percentage has gone down to 60 kgs only. Some of them are 50 kgs so the reduction is so huge that the hue and cry of the farmers are highly justified. Therefore, the government has taken this decision.”

According to the deputy chief minister, although the government has made this decision, the agriculture department has been urged to raise awareness by holding more workshops and seminars at the local level to identify strategies for replacing fertilizers in due course.

He further said, “with the help of technology and specialized agriculture officers, I should say this is the transitional era where the farmers also have to find out ways and means. I am sure we will be able to find a replacement for the utilization of fertilizers."

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