Fertilizer industry doesn’t want to promote organic farming: CPI leader Atul Anjan
Senior CPI leader Atul Anjan held both the fertilizer industry and the government responsible for the fertilizer-dependent farming in India. He was speaking at a Roundtable Discussion of “Fertilizers for Farmers: Impact of Ukraine War” organized recently by Rural Voice and Socratus in New Delhi.
Senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Atul Anjan held both the fertilizer industry and the government responsible for the fertilizer-dependent farming in India. He was speaking at a Roundtable Discussion of “Fertilizers for Farmers: Impact of Ukraine War” organized recently by Rural Voice and Socratus in New Delhi.
Anjan, who is the General Secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said that only Rs 750 crore was allocated in 28 states for organic farming. This certainly is an insignificant amount when we compare it to the subsidy given for fertilizers.
Fertilizer subsidies are expected to be in the range of Rs 2.5 lakh crore in 2022-23. This is due to the high prices of fertilizers and their raw materials in the international market, which in turn would lead to high prices in the domestic market if subsidies were not increased.
Anjan laid the blame on the fertilizer industry which, he said, does not want to promote organic farming.
The Ukraine war, Anjan felt, bode too ill for us on the fertilizer front. “If Russia captures Odessa, it would be dangerous for us,” said Anjan. Odessa is a port city on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine. Around 2.4 million tonnes of ammonia in India was shipped from Pivdenny port (Odessa) in 2021.
Anjan was also uncomfortable with the government’s fascination with exports. He asked point-blank: “If we export, what about our own food security?”
As for fertilizers, Anjan said no government was serious about the issue. He advocated for a shift towards natural farming and, on a wider scale, the transformation of agriculture in order to attract the youth.
But this cannot be done, according to Anjan, in the current set-up. He called the NITI Aayog “debris of confusion.”
Instead, he supported the idea of setting up a Planning Commission for Agriculture by Agriculturists. This body, he said, should hold state-wise meetings.