The Government has taken steps to encourage production and availability of fortified and coated urea in the country. In this regard, the cap / restrictions to produce Neem coated urea has been removed. The Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Sh. Ananth Kumar today said that a notification in this regard has been issued. Addressing a press conference here today, he said that using neem coated urea will not only increase crop yields but also lower input cost to farmers. He said it will also reduce imports of precious fertilizers as well as reduce ground and soil pollution.
Shri Ananth Kumar said that presently India is using only 60 lakh mt neem coated urea which can be increased to full demand of 310 lakh MT in the country. He said that neem coated urea is costly by 5% compared to plain prilled urea but it reduces Nitrogen loss by more than 10%, thereby incurring a net savings of Rs. 13.5 per bag for farmers. Due to higher nitrogen use efficiency, the use of nitrogen coated urea can also eliminate import of urea resulting in huge foreign exchange savings. Presently, India is importing about 71 lakh MT urea. He said that, additionally, farmers will also get advantage of better yield, less pest attack due to less use of urea which will also ensure better NPK use ratio and balanced use of fertilizers.
Shri Ananth Kumar informed that there is adequate availability of fertilizers in the country and there is no shortage anywhere. He said that in December 2014, 1706 rakes were used for supply of fertilizers as compared to 1488 in December 2013. He said, in future also, there will be no dearth of urea. The Minister clarified that there would neither be increase in urea price nor change in subsidy.
The Minister also informed that for 3 fertilizers plants, viz., Mangalore fertilizers, Madras fertilizers and SPIC Tuticorin plants which were running on naphtha, the Government has decided to give subsidy on naphtha for next 100 days and these 3 plants will soon restart. He further informed that the issue of Right of Way for laying the gas pipeline from Kochi to Mangaluru has been resolved