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In a big boost to the farm sector in Uttar Pradesh, the Centre has hiked the state's share of potash, a major fertiliser, to 1.7 million tonnes (MT) for the current rabi sowing season.
According to UP agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi, the central government had raised the quota of Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium (NPK) by nearly 5.5. per cent from 1.62 MT to over 1.7 MT.
As such, the state farmers would be supplied an additional 88,000 tonnes of DAP in the current rabi season. “Farmers will get ready and adequate supply of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and NPK according to their needs and demands,” Shahi underlined.
At present, UP has an inventory of more than 209,000 tonnes of DAP, 73,000 tonnes of NPK, and 183,000 tonnes of single super phosphate (SSP).
He said 24 railway rakes carrying DAP and NPK had already left different seaports for the state and are expected to arrive within a week.
Shahi advised farmers to use NPK and SSP in addition to DAP during the sowing of rabi crops for better yield. SSP is one of the most popular phosphatic fertilisers after DAP and consists of three plant nutrients--phosphorus, sulphur and calcium--apart from traces of other soil micro-nutrients.
With the 2024 Lok Sabha elections less than a year-and-a-half away, the ruling dispensation is pulling out all the stops in keeping farmers happy in order to reap rich electoral dividends.
Adequate provision of farm nutrients is among the measures being taken to ensure a seamless sowing season. It also fosters the Yogi Adityanath government’s overarching theme of doubling rural incomes.
Interestingly, India is among the largest importers of potash to feed the domestic sector, and depends on largely on inbound shipments to meet its annual consumption of nearly 5 MT of potash. The third of this is shipped from Belarus and Russia.
India primarily imports four types of fertilisers--urea, DAP, muriate of potash (MOP) and NPK. Moreover, the country subsidises potash to make it affordable for farmers.
Given the high demand for potash and the consequent imports, the UP government has already advised state sugar mills to manufacture potash from ash generated by their incinerating boilers.
UP is among India's top sugar producing states with about 120 mills churning out nearly 12 MT of the sweetener a year.
Since India imports large amounts of potash for use as a soil nutrient and fertiliser, domestic production would save precious foreign exchange, UP additional chief secretary, sugarcane development and sugar industry, Sanjay Bhoosreddy, told sugar mills.
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First Published: Wed, November 23 2022. 20:15 IST