New Delhi: The government on Saturday said it is closely monitoring the availability and price of fertilizers and has asked manufacturers and importers to ensure a sufficient supply of nutrients during the kharif (summer-sown) sowing season this year.
In an official statement, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers said the availability of crop nutrients remained comfortable across the country during the rabi (winter-sown) 2020-21 season.
Despite various challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the production, import, and movement of fertilizer remained timely and adequate.
”The government is closely monitoring availability and price of fertilisers in the interest of farmers,” the statement said.
The agriculture ministry assessed the requirement of various fertilisers in consultation with states/UTs for kharif 2021 season and has conveyed it to the Department of Fertilisers. Accordingly, the fertiliser ministry, in consultation with manufacturers, has finalised the target of domestic production and the same is being monitored closely, the statement said.
”To bridge the gap between assessed requirement and indigenous production in case of urea, the imports are being planned timely and adequately,” it added.
In the case of P&K (phosphatic and potassic) fertilisers, the imports come under OGL (Open and General Licences), wherein the fertiliser companies are free to import the quantities/raw material based on their commercial considerations.
To assess the preparedness for kharif 2021 season, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda held review meeting with chairman and managing directors (CMDs)/ managing directors (MDs) of various fertiliser companies on March 15.
A follow-up meeting was held on April 1, 2021, under the chairpersonship of Fertiliser Secretary Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, wherein various companies submitted their preparedness, inventory position and the movement plans for the kharif 2021 season. The fertiliser industry informed that prices of raw materials of P&K nutrients have increased.
On the issue of price revision of complex fertilisers by IFFCO, Gowda had discussion with senior officials of the Department of Fertilisers and IFFCO representatives on April 8.
”IFFCO was advised to ensure that the existing stock of DAP (diammonium phosphate) and complex fertilisers are sold on the old prices to the farmers.
”The same was confirmed by IFFCO that they will be selling nearly 11.26 lakh tonnes available stock of DAP/complex fertilisers on the older rates,” the statement said.
The fertiliser secretary held another meeting on April 9 to review the availability of P&K fertilisers. ”The companies have been advised to continue the movement of fertilisers so as to achieve the desired level of pre-positioning before the peak phase of the kharif season,” the statement said.
The manufacturers and the importers have assured of achieving the targeted indigenous production and imports of fertilisers.
”There was a clear message to all the companies that the comfortable availability situation as has been in the recent years, the same shall continue through concerted efforts,” the statement said. The Fertilizer Association of India (FAI) said there is a sufficient stock to meet the requirement of the next three months for various fertilisers.