The Union Govt is all set to launch the Pradhan Mantri-Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana or PM PRANAM Scheme to curb the use of chemical fertilizers.
PRANAM Scheme focuses to minimize the subsidy burden on chemical fertilizers, which was expected to rise to Rs. 2.25 lakh crore in 2022-2023, i.e, 39 per cent higher than last year’s Rs. 1.62 lakh crore.
What is PM PRANAM Scheme?
PM PRANAM Scheme is an initiative that encourages a balanced use of fertilisers with biofertilisers and organic fertilisers as alternative forms of nutrients.
According to media reports, the idea of the PM PRANAM Scheme was proposed during the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign that took place on September 7. Details about the scheme were shared in the event and the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is likely to take suggestions on the features of the proposed scheme.
How will it work?
The government aims to determine the state’s use of chemical fertilisers by calculating and comparing the usage in a given year to its average usage in the last three years. For this, the data available on the Fertilizer Ministry dashboard, Integrated Fertilizers Management System (IFMS), will be taken.
Why is PM PRANAM Scheme needed?
In the past few years, there has been a huge increase in the use of chemical fertilisers to increase the agriculture supply.
Bhagwanth Khuba, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers told Lok Sabha in August 2022 that the requirement of four fertilisers – Urea, DAP, MOP, and the NPK – increased by 21% i.e. from 528.86 lakh metric tonnes in 2017-18 to 640.27 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) in 2021-22. Thus, the Centre intends to cut down on the intense usage of fertiliser and promote alternative fertilisers.
The farmers buy chemical fertilisers at Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) below their normal supply-and-demand-based market rates or what it costs to produce/import them. The MRPs of non-urea fertilisers are fixed by the companies. Thus, the Centre pays the subsidy money which is the difference between the two sums. The Centre pays a flat per-tonne subsidy on these nutrients to ensure reasonable prices.
How will PM PRANAM Scheme be funded?
The prime objective will be to pass 50 per cent of subsidy savings as a grant to the state that saves the money. Out of which, 70 per cent would be utilized to build assets that will promote the usage of alternate fertilisers and their production at the village, block and district levels. The remaining 30 per cent of the total grant would be used to help farmers, panchayats, farmer producer organisations and self-help groups (SHG) that work to reduce fertiliser usage and spread awareness.
PM PRANAM Scheme is likely to be launched soon. Its draft will be completed post incorporating the decisions of the departments concerned.