Centre rolls out Rs 1,500 per tonne market development assistance for organic manure, ET EnergyWorld

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New Delhi: In a significant move towards promoting sustainable agriculture, the central government announced comprehensive guidelines to offer market development assistance (MDA) at Rs 1500/MT for fermented organic manure (FOM) or biodigestate derived from compressed biogas (CBG) facilities.

Organic fertilizers, sourced from decomposed plant and animal derivatives such as agricultural waste, cattle dung, and poultry droppings, have been increasingly recognized for their role in improving soil texture, water retention, and enhancing microbial activity. The shift towards organic fertilizers could lead to a more balanced nutrient use, mitigating the adverse effects of excessive chemical fertilizer usage.

Under the banner of the galvanizing organic bio-agro resources dhan (GOBARdhan) initiative, the government aims to bolster the production and use of organic fertilizers like FOM, liquid fermented organic manure (LFOM), and enriched phosphate rich organic manure (PROM). These fertilizers emerge as by-products from bio-gas (BG) and compressed bio-gas (CBG) plants. The central government has set aside a budget of Rs 1451.82 crore over three years, from FY 2023-24 to FY 2025-26, to facilitate this.

The guidelines detail the eligibility criteria for availing the MDA. Only FOM, LFOM, and PROM produced at BG/CBG plants under the GOBARdhan initiative qualify. Moreover, these units must be registered with the GOBARdhan portal of the department of drinking water & sanitation.

On the marketing front, registered units can either collaborate with fertilizer marketing companies or opt for independent marketing, whether in packaged or bulk form. Special emphasis has been given to maintain the quality standards of these fertilizers as per the Fertilizer Control Order (FCO) of 1985. Notably, marketing of these fertilizers in bulk form is permitted on a trial basis from October 2023 to March 2024.

Further, the guidelines provide clarity on the packaging regulations. All bags must display essential information, including its constituents, manufacturers’ details, and shelf-life. Any sale above the printed maximum retail price (MRP) will attract penalties.

A high-level steering committee, helmed by the Secretary (Fertilizers), will oversee the scheme’s operational facets, including packaging and MDA disbursement, subject to the nod of the minister of chemicals & fertilizers.

Moreover, the guidelines emphasize the importance of documentation, allowing regular checks and audits. Firms will need to maintain records continuously, available for inspection on demand.

Additionally, proposals for research and development from central/state research institutes and non-private fertilizer cooperatives are welcomed, positioning the sector for ongoing innovation.

In closing, the guidelines underscore their applicability from the date actual sales are recorded on iFMS, stressing the department of fertilizers’ authority to seek additional information for the scheme’s efficient implementation.

  • Published On Sep 22, 2023 at 08:48 AM IST

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