02 December 2021, New Delhi: Indian fertilizer sector has so far been highly successful in meeting the nutrient requirement of the Indian agriculture. The pricing and other policies have played a very important role in expansion of capacity, production, distribution and sale of fertilizers over the years.
Food grain and horticulture production has reached 309 million tonnes and 331 million tonnes, respectively. India was the largest exporter of rice in the world with 18 million tonnes of export across the world. While there is challenge of increasing crop productivity, there is still bigger challenge of sustainability of Indian agriculture
Mr. Satish Chander, Director General, Fertilizer Association of India, addressing the audience at the Annual Seminar 2021, said that the fertiliser is by far the most important agri input but the sector now faces multiple challenges which have threatened security of supplies and also led to improper use of nutrients. International prices is one of the major issue being dealt with in the current times. The domestic industry needs to be strengthened by appropriate policy initiatives from the government.
The foremost challenger for the sector is the dependence on import of major inputs and finished products. India is the largest importer of phosphoric acid and urea and has largest share in the trade of rock phosphate, ammonia, potash and diammonium phosphate (DAP). In the recent times, these commodities have witnessed very unusual spurt in prices in international markets. Their availability has also been affected due to several developments in exporting countries.
Mr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR), said that a lot of discussion has happened on the reforms to be brought in under ‘Chintan Shivir’. The fiver working groups comprising of industry experts, senior scientists, bureaucrats have made crucial recommendations. Mr. Mohapatra mentioned the need of innovations in the sector. He sighting an example of Nano Urea, which will reduce the fertilizer dosage and improve nitrogen absorption by the plants.
Mr. K.S. Raju, Chairman, FAI said, despite the sector having numerous challenges, the silver lining is that these challenges also bring into focus on vast opportunities. The Indian fertilizer sector has been successful in managing the demands of the farming community and will continue to do so. He further suggested that the entire domestic market should me made viable through revision in cost of domestic producers, which will be minuscule compared to the cost of imports.
The sector has been facing various challenges on policy front related to subsidy payment, unresolved issues on GST, international price rise, etc. The leadership from the sector is hopeful that the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizer under the leadership of Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will help in timely resolution of the sector specific issues.