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Fertiliser Ministry hikes sale limit on subsidised nutrients to plantations


Following concerns raised by the plantation sector, the Fertiliser Ministry has hiked the maximum limit for purchase of subsidised fertilisers by six times to 1,200 bags per month per plantation from the earlier 200 bags.

The Department of Fertiliser (DOF) on Thursday issued a note increasing the maximum limit for sale of fertilisers to 1,200 bags per month per plantation. On January 21 this year, the DOF had fixed limits at 200 bags per month per plantation and 50 bags per month for other farmers, in what was seen as an attempt to curb excess use of nutrients and its diversion. However, DOF has not changed the purchase limit for other farmers.

The United Planters Association of South India (Upasi) had raisedconcerns stating that fixing a limit on fertiliser sale would hurt production of plantation commodities and competitiveness of the industry.

Prashant Bhansali, President, UPASI, said that though the increase in allotment of subsidised fertiliser is better, it is not going to solve the problem of larger plantations for their adequate requirement of fertilisers.

Bhansali emphasised that allotment of subsidised fertiliser should be linked to the actual hectarage under cultivation for plantations. This would enable judicious use of subsidised fertiliser for its intended objective of augmenting the production and productivity of crops. He also stressed that one-size-fits-all approach should be avoided in the plantation sector.

The annual requirement of fertilisers varies between 24 and 48 bags per ha depending on the land productivity. Plantations require the fertiliser during certain months of the year, depending on the rainfall, and therefore will not be in a position to buy every month.


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