New Delhi: In a major move aimed at doubling the income of farmers by 2022, the government has agreed 'in principle' to give license of selling fertiliser to farmer producer organizations (FPOs). The move, according to government officials, would help in reducing the input cost as farmers associated with FPOs would get fertilisers at lesser price.
"As per the business module, dealers get commission on the sale of every bag of fertiliser and when FPOs would start getting the fertiliser directly from manufactures; it would be very cost-effective for its members — the farmers," a senior official said, adding that every FPO has at 800-1,000 members, who are either small or marginal farmer.
"The government is aggressively working in the direction to reduce input cost and eliminate involvement of middlemen in trading of agricultural produce. The motive is to provide direct access to the market to farmers so that they could get more price of their produce," the official said.
"The Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers has agreed to provide dealership to FPOs promoted by Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) after a proposal was submitted by the SFAC in this regard," the official said, adding that final notification would be made after a few rounds of consultation with other stakeholders.
There are 750 FPO formed and out of which around 675 FPOs are operational and the SFAC has been able to promote about 8 lakh smaller and marginal.
"The cost of a 50-kg bag of fertiliser ranges varies from Rs 270 to Rs 1,150, which include a commission to dealers. If farmers start getting fertilisers at factory price, the cost of a bag of fertiliser would certainly come down to Rs 200 or lesser than that," the official said.
Hailing the move, Vidarbha-based farmer Ganesh Nanote said, "It's a good decision. Fertiliser is necessary to get better yield and when the nutrient booster would be available at reasonable price, it would definitely help in increasing the income of farmers."
The proposal has been 'approved' after considering the fact that when co-operatives --- IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative) and KRIBHCO (Krishak Bharati Cooperative) -- have been authorised to manufacture fertilisers, the FPOs should also be considered for fertiliser dealership.