Economy

Ananth Kumar reiterates commitment to draft new fertiliser policy

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 25, 2014 Published on August 25, 2014

The Minister for Chemicals & Fertilisers, Ananth Kumar, on Monday reiterated the government’s commitment to constituting a Task Force to draft a New National Fertiliser Policy. Speaking at the ‘4th National Conference on Agrochemicals 2014’ hosted over two days by FICCI, Kumar stated that the decision was taken on the basis of directions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a recent review meeting.

The Minister, who had mentioned that the Task Force comprising experts would be formed earlier this month in Hyderabad, believed that the new policy would provide a national platform for the usage of bio-fertilizers and micro-nutrients by the country’s farmers. “We need to create a mission which incentivises farmers to use green or bio-fertilizers,” he said, adding that it was imperative to promote the usage of green fertilizers to protect soil health and ensure increased production of quality crops.

Kumar, who refrained from providing a deadline as to when the team of experts was likely to be instated, said that his ministry would also recommend banning agrochemicals found to be harming biodiversity.

“The biggest challenge in front of us today is whether our pesticides and insecticides are complementary to Mother Nature. If we find that there are pesticides and insecticides which are a threat to nature and biodiversity, we will recommend banning them to the Agriculture Ministry,” he said, while criticizing the Green Revolution’s deleterious effects on the country’s soil even if output increased.

Addressing the event themed ‘Agrochemicals for Ensuring Food and Nutrition Security of the Nation’, Kumar said that the Government was proposing to pass the Pesticides Management Bill, 2008, in the Winter Session of Parliament, and hoped that it would boost production and export potential. “The Bill has been introduced in Parliament to replace the extant Insecticides Act (1968), and the government will take action to pass the same to accelerate the growth and development of this sector,” Kumar said.

India is the world’s fourth largest producer of agrochemicals after the United States (US), Japan and China, but domestic consumption is among the lowest in the world, at 0.6 kg/ha as compared to the global average of 3 kg/ha, as per a FICCI-TATA Strategic Management Group knowledge paper that was released at the event.

Published on August 25, 2014
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