Agri Business

Plantation sector voices concern over purchase limit for subsidised fertiliser

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on February 18, 2021

Prasant Bhansali, president, of United Planters Association of South India

The Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry’s decision to fix the purchase limit of subsidised fertiliser at 200-bag per month has put the plantation industry in a mess.

According to planters, the fixation of limit per plantation is very low and has been taken without considering the sector’s needs, which would adversely impact its competitiveness. The decision comes when the industry is passing through a difficult phase due to the rise in production cost on account of high wages and input costs, they said.

Prasant Bhansali, president, of United Planters Association of South India (UPASI) said the size and production of plantation must be taken into account while prescribing the limit. The allocation will have to be per hectare basis rather than per plantation. Each hectare requires two to four bags per month, depending on land productivity. Therefore the limit of 200 bags per month will consider an area ranging between 50 to 100 hectares.

“While there may be reasons for the government to propose such restrictions, we are of the view that the proposed measures will no way help in preventing the misuse of fertiliser but will put genuine growers of plantation crops into great difficulty and inconvenience”, Bhansali said.

Plantations require the fertiliser during certain months of the year depending on the rainfall and therefore will not be able to buy every month. The entitlement should be based on landholdings and the land area, which is a more practical criterion.

The proposed restrictions, he said, would have severe implications for the export competitiveness of plantation commodities and will deny level playing field in the overseas markets. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce had recommended to ensure that fertiliser subsidy to growers and to engage the state government for timely fertiliser availability.

UPASI president suggested that the fertilizer subsidy 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 production and productivity. To ensure compliance, Commodity Boards can obtain a certificate to prove that fertiliser purchased is judiciously used for the application within the specified crops in the estates.

The planters body made a representation to the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers, requesting him to take appropriate measures to mitigate the problems because the plantations are going through intense stress due to low productivity, un-remunerative prices, climate change issues, global competition, etc. and subsidised fertiliser is the need of the hour.

REQUIREMENT OF FERTILIZER FOR TEA PLANTATIONS

BAGS PER HECTARE PER YEAR

 

 

 

 

TAMIL NADU

KERALA

KARNATAKA

SOUTH INDIA

Area in hectares

   

62,885

35,871

2,172

1,00,928

S.No.

Fertilizer

 

Kg./Ha./Yr.*

(‘000 bags)

   

 

1.

 

Urea

 

 

522.0

 

729.5

 

416.1

 

25.2

 

1,170.8

2.

Muriate of potash

 

500.0

628.9

358.7

21.7

1,009.3

3.

Rock phosphate

 

222.0

279.2

159.3

9.6

448.1

Note: * Minimum Quantity Required for sustainable Yield in Kg/Ha./Year recommended by TEA RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF INDIA Source: UPASI Estimate

       

REQUIREMENT OF FERTILIZER FOR TEA PLANTATIONS

BAGS PER HECTARE PER YEAR

 

 

 

 

TAMIL NADU

KERALA

KARNATAKA

SOUTH INDIA

Area in hectares

   

62,885

35,871

2,172

1,00,928

S.No.

Fertilizer

 

Kg./Ha./Yr.*

(‘000 bags)

   

 

1.

 

Urea

 

 

522.0

 

729.5

 

416.1

 

25.2

 

1,170.8

2.

Muriate of potash

 

500.0

628.9

358.7

21.7

1,009.3

3.

Rock phosphate

 

222.0

279.2

159.3

9.6

448.1

Note: * Minimum Quantity Required for sustainable Yield in Kg/Ha./Year recommended by TEA RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF INDIA Source: UPASI Estimate

       
Published on February 18, 2021

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