R&D in organic fertilizers

R&D in organic fertilizers

Government has notified 32 quality testing laboratories and initiated steps to accredit its laboratories to strengthen quality control activities.

  • By ICN Bureau | July 27, 2023

Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has developed technologies for rapid composting of within farm renewable resources which is potential source of organic fertilizers. Enriched compost like phosphor - nitro or phosphor - sulpho compost has also been developed for use as organic fertilizers in agriculture. Bio-fertilizers have also been developed under All India Network Project on Soil Biodiversity Bio-fertilizers for different crops.

ICAR has developed improved and efficient strains of bio-fertilizers specific to different crops and soil types under the Network project on ‘Soil Biodiversity-Bio-fertilizers’. Under this project, ICAR has developed improved and efficient strains of bio-fertilizers specific to different crops and soil types, Liquid Bio-fertilizer technology with higher shelf life, bio-fertilizer consortia formulation with two or more bio-fertilizer strains, microbial enriched bio-compost and Zinc & Potassium Solubilizing Bio-fertilizers. The ICAR also imparts training to educate farmers on use of bio-fertilizers.

ICAR under the Network project on ‘Soil Biodiversity-Bio-fertilizers’ has confirmed that Bio-fertilizers can improve crop yields by 10-25% and supplement costly chemical fertilizers (N, P) by nearly 20-25% in most of the cases when used along with chemical fertilizers.

Government is promoting use of organic fertilizers under organic farming through the scheme of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region (MOVCDNER) since 2015-16. Under these schemes, farmers are primarily encouraged for organic cultivation using organic fertilizers along-with other organic inputs and end to end support to farmers i.e.  from production to marketing of organic produce is ensured. Hands-on training to farmers about on-farm production of organic fertilizers and its use are integral part of these schemes. Farmers are provided subsidy of Rs 31000/ ha / 3 years under PKVY and 32500/ ha/ 3 years under MOVCDNER for on-farm organic inputs including organic fertilizers as well as for procurement of off-farm organic inputs.

Under Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), States are provided assistance to promote Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) through judicious use of Chemical Fertilizers in conjunction with organic fertilizers. Under SHC scheme, various training and demonstration programmes as well as farmer’s melas and workshops are organized.

Government is preparing to promote Natural Farming on a larger scale in Mission Mode to cover 7.5 lakh hectare area along Ganga basin and other rain-fed areas by developing 15000 clusters by transforming 1 crore farmers into natural farming in which 10,000 Bio-Input Resource Centers (BRC) will be set-up for continuous supply of local livestock based natural farming inputs like Beejamrut, Jeevamrut, Neemastra etc. This programme will reduce consumption of chemical fertilizers.

In order to ensure the avaibility of good quality of bio-fertilizers, organic fertilizers and Bio- stimulants, the Government of India regulates its quality under the Fertilizer Control Order (1985). Government has notified 32 quality testing laboratories and initiated steps to accredit its laboratories to strengthen quality control activities.

For encouraging production and use of organic fertilizers, Government has approved Market Development Assistance (MDA) @ Rs. 15,000/ tonnes for Fermented Organic Manure (FOM). 

To incentivize the farmers to reduce the overall consumption of fertilizers for improving soil health and fertility and sustainable productivity, Government has announced “PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth (PM-PRANAM) which will be launched to incentivize States and Union Territories to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers. Under this programme, 50% of subsidy savings will be passed on as a grant to the state that saves the money.

Under Mission Life programme, Government is taking up various environment Initiatives to encourage natural and organic farming using organic and bio-fertilizers to reduce carbon foot print, reduced emission of Green House Gas (GHG) through reduction of chemical fertilizer and pesticides.

The ICAR also imparts trainings, organizes front-line demonstrations, awareness programs etc. to educate farmers on all these aspects.

National Center of Organic and Natural Farming (NCONF) and its Regional Center of Organic and Natural Farming located at Ghaziabad, Nagpur, Bangalore, Imphal and Bhubaneswar are organizing various HRD trainings namely One Day Farmers’ Training, Two Days Training for Extension Officers/Staff, Two Days Training on PGS, 30 Days Certificate course, One day Jaivik evam Prakratik Kisan Sammelan for 500 participants, One Day Stakeholder consultations/ conferences on Natural Farming for 100 participitants, Orientation Program on Natural Farming and awareness programmes across the country to disseminate information on organic and natural farming as well as on- farm production and use of various kinds of organic and bio-fertilizers. NCONF and RCONF also organize online awareness campaign and training programmes on organic and natural farming and production and use of organic and bio-fertilizers.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Monday.

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