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Centre asks states to promote organic farming, stop urea diversion

Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday urged states to promote organic farming for preservation of soil health and make efforts to reduce use of chemical fertilisers

mandaviya, Mansukh mandaviya

Addressing the event, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "The package focuses on the overall welfare and economic wellbeing of farmers by promoting sustainable agriculture. (Photo: ANI Twitter)

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday urged states to promote organic farming for preservation of soil health and make efforts to reduce use of chemical fertilisers.
The minister also asked states to take up effective steps to curtail diversion of urea meant for agriculture and farmers, to other sectors, according to an official statement.
Mandaviya said this while virtually interacting with agriculture ministers of states and Union Territories on the recent decisions made by the Cabinet regarding fertiliser sector.
On June 28, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a new scheme, PM-PRANAM to incentivise states to promote alternative fertilisers and reduce the use of chemical fertilisers and also decided to continue the current urea subsidy scheme for three years ending March 2025, with an outlay of Rs 3.68 lakh crore.
That apart, CCEA approved an outlay of Rs 1,451 crore subsidy to promote organic manure, taking the total package to over Rs 3.70 lakh crore. It also decided to introduce sulphur-coated urea (Urea Gold) in the country for the first time to address sulphur deficiency in the soil.
Addressing the event, Mandaviya said, "The package focuses on the overall welfare and economic wellbeing of farmers by promoting sustainable agriculture. These initiatives will enhance farmers' income, strengthen natural and organic farming, revive soil productivity and ensure food security at the same time".
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and agriculture ministers of more than 20 states and Union Territories also participated in the virtual meeting.
Mandaviya said CCEA has approved the continuation of the urea subsidy scheme to ensure availability of urea to farmers at a flat price of Rs 266.70 per 45 kg bag, excluding taxes and neem coating charges.
At present, MRP of urea is Rs 266.70 per 45 kg bag (excluding neem coating duty and applicable taxes) while the actual cost of the bag is around Rs 2,200, he added.
Mandaviya noted that Mother Earth has always provided ample sources of sustenance to mankind.
"It is the need of the hour to promote more natural methods of farming and balanced/sustainable use of chemical fertilizers," he underscored.
Promotion of natural/organic farming, alternative fertilizers, nano fertilizers and bio fertilizers can help in restoring the fertility of the Earth, he added.
Prime Minister's Program for Restoration, Awareness, Nurturing and Improvement of Fertility of Mother Earth (PM-PRANAM) has been launched to encourage states to promote balanced use of alternative fertilizers and chemical fertilizers, Mandaviya said.
He "appealed to all the states to jointly contribute towards promotion of organic farming for preservation of soil health.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jun 30 2023 | 11:17 PM IST

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