In a landmark move, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has unveiled a groundbreaking package of schemes for farmers. With a staggering outlay of Rs. 3,70,128.7 crore, these innovative initiatives are designed to revolutionize the agricultural sector, focusing on the overall well-being and economic prosperity of farmers. By promoting sustainable agriculture, these schemes aim to elevate farmers’ income, bolster natural and organic farming practices, rejuvenate soil productivity, and ensure food security.
The Indian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has announced a comprehensive package of schemes for farmers aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and improving their economic well-being. With a total outlay of Rs. 3,70,128.7 crore, these initiatives focus on boosting farmers’ income, rejuvenating soil productivity, and ensuring food security. Key highlights include the continuation of the Urea Subsidy Scheme, strengthening the Nano Urea ecosystem, promoting natural farming practices, introducing Sulphur Coated Urea (Urea Gold), and expanding Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samruddhi Kendras (PMKSKs). These measures will reduce input costs for farmers, enhance soil health, protect the environment, and increase agricultural productivity, ultimately leading to better returns for farmers and a sustainable future for Indian agriculture.
- Urea Subsidy Scheme Continuation: The Urea Subsidy Scheme by the CCEA , ensures that farmers have urea constantly available to at an affordable price of Rs. 242 / 45 kg bag. The subsidy commitment for urea for three years (2022-23 to 2024-25) amounts to a massive Rs. 3,68,676.7 Crore. This measure helps moderate farmers’ input costs, ensuring they need not spend extra for urea purchase, while also driving indigenous production to attain self-sufficiency levels.
- Protecting Farmers from Rising Fertilizer Prices: In the face of global geopolitical changes and increased raw material costs, fertilizer prices have surged worldwide. However, the Government of India has safeguarded its farmers by augmenting fertilizer subsidies significantly, rising from Rs. 73,067 Crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 2,54,799 Crore in 2022-23, effectively shielding them from steep price hikes.
- Strengthening Nano Urea Ecosystem: By 2025-26, the country aims to commission eight Nano urea plants, capable of producing 44 Crore bottles, equivalent to 195 LMT of conventional urea. Nano urea releases nutrients gradually, enhancing nutrient use efficiency while being more cost-effective for farmers, ultimately leading to increased crop yield.
- Atmanirbhar in Urea Production by 2025-26: India’s efforts towards self-sufficiency in urea production by 2025-26 have been bolstered by the establishment and revival of six urea production units across the country. From 225 LMT in 2014-15, indigenous urea production has increased to 284 LMT in 2022-23. This, combined with the implementation of Nano Urea Plants, will reduce India’s reliance on urea imports and pave the way for complete self-sufficiency by 2025-26.
- PM Programme for Restoration and Sustainable Farming: The introduction of the “PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness Generation, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother – Earth (PMPRANAM)” incentivizes states and union territories to promote alternate fertilizers and balanced chemical fertilizer use, fostering natural and organic farming practices.
- Market Development Assistance (MDA) for Organic Fertilizers: To promote organic fertilizers, a budget of Rs. 1451.84 crore has been allocated for Market Development Assistance (MDA) . This initiative aims to facilitate the marketing of Fermented Organic Manures (FOM), Liquid FOM, and Phosphate Rich Organic Manures (PROM) produced through Bio-gas and Compressed Biogas (CBG) Plants under the GOBARdhan initiative. By offering affordable organic fertilizers, this scheme supports farmers in adopting sustainable agricultural practices.
- Promotion of Natural Farming: Natural farming practices are being promoted through demonstrations and awareness programs involving 6.80 lakh farmers across 425 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). Curricula for BSc and MSc programs in Natural Farming have been developed to be implemented from the upcoming academic session.
- Introducing Sulphur Coated Urea (Urea Gold): To address soil sulfur deficiency and save input costs for farmers, Sulphur Coated Urea (Urea Gold) is being introduced for the first time in the country. This innovative urea variant is more cost-effective and efficient than Neem-coated urea, benefitting both farmers and enhancing production and productivity.
- Expansion of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samruddhi Kendras (PMKSKs):Over one lakh Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samruddhi Kendras (PMKSKs) have been established to provide farmers with a one-stop solution for all their agricultural needs, simplifying access to essential farm inputs.
Benefits of the approved schemes
- Reduced input costs and increased income for farmers through affordable urea and low-cost Nano urea.
- Judicious use of chemical fertilizers, leading to improved soil health, higher nutrient efficiency, and a safer environment with reduced soil and water pollution.
- Resolution of air pollution issues by utilizing crop residue, converting waste into wealth, and promoting a cleaner living environment.
- Availability of branded organic fertilizers at affordable prices, addressing crop residue management challenges and providing an additional income source for farmers.
- Improved soil fertility, reduced input costs, and enhanced production and productivity leading to better returns for farmers.
- Creation of a comprehensive ecosystem that promotes sustainable agriculture practices, restoring soil health, and ensuring food security.
This visionary package of innovative schemes by the Indian government is a significant step towards transforming the agricultural landscape and uplifting the livelihoods of farmers. By focusing on sustainable practices, affordable inputs, and increased self-sufficiency, these initiatives aim to secure a prosperous future for the farming community while safeguarding the environment.