Saturday, June 25, 2022

Govt holds review meeting to ensure fertilizer availability during Kharif season

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New Delhi: During Rabi 2020-21 season, the fertilizer availability remained comfortable throughout the country. In spite of various challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, the production, import and movement of fertilizer remained timely and adequate, the Department of Fertilizers said in an official statement on Saturday. The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) assessed the requirement of various fertilizers in consultation with the states and UTs for the Kharif 2021 season and has conveyed it to the Department of Fertilizers (DoF). The DoF, in consultation with manufacturers of various fertilizers, has finalised the target indigenous production and the same is being monitored closely, said the statement.

To bridge the gap between assessed requirement and indigenous production, in the case of urea, imports are being planned timely and adequately. In the case of P&K fertilizers, the imports come under OGL (Open and General Licences), wherein the fertilizer companies are free to import the quantities/raw material based on their commercial considerations.

To assess the preparedness for Kharif 2021 season, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda took a review meeting with the CMDs/MDs of various fertilizer companies last Month. The various issues viz expected indigenous production, anticipated imports of raw material/finished fertilizers were discussed in detail. A follow-up meeting was held on April 1 under the Chairpersonship of Fertilizers Secretary, wherein the various fertilizer companies submitted their preparedness, inventory position and movement plans for the Kharif 2021 season. It was also informed by fertilizer industries in the meeting that the price of raw materials of P&K fertilizers has increased.

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On the issue of price revision of complex fertilizers by IFFCO, Gowda had a discussion with senior officials of the Department of Fertilizers and IFFCO representative on April 8, and the company was suitably advised to ensure that the existing stock of DAP and complex fertilizers are sold on the old prices to the farmers. The same was confirmed by IFFCO that they will be selling nearly 11.26 LMT available stock of DAP or complex fertilizers on the older rates.

A meeting was again convened under the chairpersonship of the Fertilizers Secretary on April 9, wherein the availability scenario was reviewed specifically with regard to P&K fertilizers. The companies have been advised to continue the movement of fertilizers so as to achieve the desired level of pre-positioning before the peak phase of Kharif season. The manufacturers and the importers have given assurance with regard to achieving the target indigenous production and imports of fertilizers.

There was a clear message to all companies that the comfortable availability situation has been in recent years, the same shall continue through concerted efforts. The Fertilizer Association of India (FAI) presented an analysis wherein it was highlighted that the given level of inventory already placed in the states is sufficient to meet the requirement of the next three months for various fertilizers. The government is closely monitoring the availability and price of fertilizers in the interest of farmers.

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