The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), which sets the MSP for crops, wants to give farmers a fertilizer subsidy based on the size of their fields to prevent excessive use of chemical fertilizers. The number of bags of subsidized urea and DAP should be limited according to farm size. We tell you that the use and price of chemical fertilizers has increased so much that its subsidy has exceeded Rs 2.5 lakh crore. The Commission has also called for promotion of pulses production and various changes in cultivation. It also suggested framing a policy for sale of pulses purchased under the Price Support Scheme (PSS).
Where it is stated that it should not be sold below the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Let us tell you that we are a big importer of pulses. Cultivation of pulses has declined significantly, so the government has now removed the limit of 25 per cent of total production levied on purchase at MSP to 100 per cent.
Indiscriminate use of fertilizers is a major concern
In its non-price recommendations for the 2024-25 rabi procurement season, the CACP intends to impose an appropriate limit on the number of subsidized urea bags used by farmers depending on the farm size. So that urea is not overused and fertilizer use imbalance can be controlled. So that the health of cultivation does not deteriorate.
Fertilizer use should be balanced
Stating that fertilizer use in India is highly unbalanced, the CACP said overuse of over 200 kg of fertilizers per hectare in about 25 per cent districts is leading to serious environmental crisis. Whereas in about 17 percent districts the consumption is less than 50 kg. Besides, there is an imbalance in the proportion of fertilizers.
Emphasis should be placed on nano fertilizers
The commission recommends that special awareness campaigns should be carried out to educate farmers about judicious use of fertilizers. Fertilizer use should be reduced in high consumption districts and fertilizer use should be promoted in low consumption areas. “States should make concerted efforts to promote and popularize the use of nano-fertilizers through campaigns and field demonstrations, which will help curb fertilizer subsidies,” it said.
A call to farmers to cultivate pulses
Further, the CACP said that production of pulses is concentrated in a few states and districts of the country. It suggested that pulses, especially lentil, Arhar/Tur and Urd could be cultivated in the available paddy-fallen land in the eastern and southern states. Besides this concerted efforts are needed to promote summer urad and mung cultivation in the area.
Crops should not be sold below MSP
Additionally, selling pulses purchased under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) in the open market below the MSP reduces the market price. The Commission recommends that a policy should be formulated for disposal of pulses purchased under PSS and not sold below MSP.