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Source: The post is based on the article “Empowering farmers is essential for the broad prosperity of India” published in the Livemint on 17th October 2022.
Syllabus: GS 3 – Issues related to Direct and Indirect Farm Subsidies and Minimum Support Prices
Relevance: About the fertilizer sector.
News: To realise the vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ in agriculture, structural changes in the fertilizer sector are crucial.
What are the various initiatives taken in the fertilizer sector?
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samridhhi Kendra (PMKSK) scheme: It will have one-of-a-kind ‘model fertilizer retail shops’ that shall offer various facilities under a single roof. The farmers get fertilizers and other inputs at cheaper rates under a single roof, adopt new technologies to enhance their farm production and are able to earn higher incomes.
These Kendras will also provide an interactive platform for knowledge sharing to create awareness among farmers on the latest and best agriculture technology and practices, as well as on the balanced use of fertilizers.
At the village level, Kendras will aid farmers with crop literature, soil fertility maps, messages from government authorities and data on the stock position of fertilizers, subsidies, marked retail prices, etc.
Tehsil level Kendras will have facilities like a help desk on new-age fertilizers and government schemes, a crop advisory, tele-consultation with experts, a common service centre, soil testing facility and sample collection unit for seed and pesticide testing, etc.
District-level Kendras will have all facilities at a larger scale, with the entire product range showcased, enlarged seating capacity, testing facilities for soil, seeds, water and pesticides, and a common service centre.
Training of retailers: It will be conducted every six months. Agricultural scientists and agriculture experts will also be engaged for training retailers on various topics.
Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Urvarak Pariyojana: Under the slogan ‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ India shall have a single brand, Bharat, for all types of major fertilizers.
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What are the advantages of both schemes?
a) The concept of ‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ will help farmers overcome their confusion over brand-specific choices, as all DAP fertilizer brands must have 18% nitrogen and 46% phosphorus, b) Maximize farm production by ensuring easy availability of fertilizers and other agri services to farmers at affordable prices, and c) Promote balanced nutrient application, which is essential for sustained agricultural growth as well as the prosperity of the farmers.