[Answered] Bring out the rationale behind the One Nation, One Fertilizer plan. Also, highlight the challenges associated with it.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain the rationale behind the One Nation, One Fertilizer plan. Also write some challenges associated with it.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has decided to implement One Nation One Fertiliser by introducing a “Single Brand for Fertilizers and Logo” under the fertilizer subsidy scheme named “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janurvarak Pariyojna”(PMBJP). All fertiliser companies in the country have to sell their products under the brand name of ‘Bharat’ for instance, ‘Bharat urea’, Bharat DAP’ etc. irrespective of whether it is manufactured by a public or a private player.

Rationale behind the One Nation, One Fertilizer plan:

  • To bring uniformity in fertilizers by banning industrial diversion of fertilizer brands across the country. Since fertiliser companies get the freight subsidy, they do not hesitate moving bags a longer distance.
  • The government believes that theft and black marketing of fertilizers can be stopped in the country by providing fertilizers in the same sacks and under one brand name.
  • The government believes that when it spends so much money on fertilizer subsidies and also determines where and at what price companies can sell their products, they should also get some credit.
  • believes this move will help them reduce their massive fertilizer subsidy bill.

Challenges:

  • It will disincentive fertilizer companies from undertaking marketing and brand promotion activities. So, likely to lose their decades-long brand and trust of farmers in their products.
  • Fertilizer companies do a lot of extension activities, such as field-level demonstrations, crop surveys etc., to introduce efficient methods of nutrient application and it also helps in reaching out to the farmers, but now all this will stop.
  • Currently, in case of any bag or batch of fertilisers does not meet the required standards, the blame is put on the company. But now, that may be passed on fully to the government.
  • There is also speculation that the fertilizer companies are expected to be limited to only contract manufacturers and importers for the government.

One Nation, One Fertilizer plan is a significant step. India should also pay attention to improving fertilizer efficiency through need-based use and increase investment in new fertilizer plants.

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