The upliftment and growth of farmers has remained a national priority for 70 years. The Centre’s ‘One Nation One Fertiliser’ (ONOF) scheme is a step forward in this direction — in the farming sector’s collective aim to build farmers’ self-sufficiency and improve India’s food security.

Under ‘One Nation One Fertiliser’, all types of fertilisers, including Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP), Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (NPK), and urea, will be sold under the brand name ‘Bharat’. Experience has taught us that farmers are brand loyalists regarding pesticides and seeds but are open to using more than one fertiliser.

After food subsidy, the fertiliser subsidy is a major expenditure for the exchequer. The agricultural sector thus stands to gain not just from the lowered spending on freight subsidy — through reduced transport costs — but also the improved availability of products, especially urea. The single name ‘Bharat’ will help minimise the fertiliser’s cross-country movement, saving large freight subsidies.

According to the Ministry of Fertilisers and Chemicals, ‘One Nation One Fertiliser’ is being introduced as a ‘Single Brand for Fertilisers and Logo’ under the fertiliser subsidy scheme named ‘Pradhanmantri Bhartiya Janurvarak Pariyojna’ (PMBJP). The memorandum says, “the single brand name for urea, DAP, MOP, and NPK, etc. would be Bharat Urea, Bharat DAP, Bharat MOP and Bharat NPK, etc. respectively for all fertiliser companies, state trading entities (STEs) and fertiliser marketing entities (FMEs)”.

The proper implementation of the scheme will ensure uniformity and standardisation, and help in savings for the exchequer.

Kisan Kalyan

This scheme is part of the ‘Kisan Kalyan’ vision, which empowers farmers at the grassroots level through simple but effective initiatives, such as the availability of seeds and fertilisers under one roof and one quality.

The fertiliser industry participants both in manufacturing and distribution are always taking inspiration from progressive interventions. Over the years, fertiliser production in India has increased drastically, from an annual production of 22.23 mt (million tonnes) in 1990–91 to 43.66 mt in 2021–22.

Consider, for example, how linkages to custom hiring centres have enabled farmers to use drones in their weekly tasks. In recent years, female farmers’ contributions have been recognised, and public-private partnerships are leveraging the power of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).

By investing in processes like soil fertility mapping, crop advisories and farmer education programmes and setting up consultations with experts for farmers in need, we are investing in a promising future.

Empowered farmers, and maximised farm production in their fields, are the building blocks of India’s food security and prosperity. In working towards this goal, we will ensure that our fellow compatriots have access to a healthy diet, not just three meals a day.

As stakeholders in the agrarian sector, we should consider the roles we can play in increasing yields — an essential intervention for the supply side to ensure that food prices remain stable. Our source of inspiration lies in our own history books, the Green Revolution.

Since Independence, India’s foresight in envisioning food security goals has supported young children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers to receive nourishment.

In the years ahead, our capacity building will have far-reaching consequences — supporting vulnerable populations in their sustenance and ushering in a new era of economic development.

The writer is the Chairman of SPIC. Views expressed are personal