Three new coop societies will help solve many agri problems, raise farmers’ income: Amit Shah

Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the three new cooperative societies — NCOL, NCEL and BBSSL — will help solve many problems of Indian agriculture and enhance farmers’ income by promoting exports of farm products, including organic foods. He was speaking after inaugurating the new office building of three national level multi-state cooperative societies —

Bhartiya Beej Sahakari Samiti Ltd (BBSSL), National Cooperative Organics Ltd (NCOL) and National Cooperative Export Ltd (NCEL) at World Trade Centre, Nauroji Nagar here.

Shah stressed on the need to promote organic and natural farming, while discouraging use of chemical fertilisers.

He announced that there will be a laboratory in every district over the next five years to certify organic farm and products.

Shah said NCOL will promote organic farming in the country apart from cooperative Amul, which has already introduced many organic products in the market.

He noted that the total global organic market is Rs 10 lakh crore and India’s exports of organic products are only Rs 7,000 crore.

Shah said organic pulses, rice and wheat flour (atta) are being used at his home and asserted that the consumption of organic products will rise in India.

For seed society BBSSL, he said the target is Rs 10,000 crore turnover in the next five years.

To achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Sahakar se Samriddhi”, all three cooperative societies will ensure upliftment of the people associated with agriculture and related activities.

The government had earlier approved setting up of these three cooperative societies.

These societies have been registered under Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002.

Cooperative societies of all levels (from district to state to national) who are interested in activities specified for each of the three societies, are eligible to become members.

NCEL has been formed to promote exports from the cooperative sector.

The member promoters of NCEL include Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO), Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd (KRIBHCO), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).

NCEL will undertake direct export of goods and services of cooperatives and related entities.

NCOL has been formed to realize the potential of organic products and create a healthy agriculture ecosystem.

It acts as an umbrella organization for aggregation, procurement, certification, testing, branding and marketing of organic products of the cooperative sector.

NCOL is promoted by NAFED, NDDB ( National Dairy Development Board), NCDC, GCMMF and NCCF.

NCOL will help in the increase of production of organic products and it will also provide support in marketing of authentic and certified organic products by the cooperatives and related entities at various levels.

BBSSL deals with the advanced and traditional seed research and production and is responsible for their processing and marketing through the cooperative sector.

It is promoted by IFFCO, KRIBHCO, NAFED, NDDB and NCDC.

BBSSL aims at increasing the production of quality seeds in India, at par with the global standards through cooperatives, and thereby reducing the dependence on imported seeds.

The good quality seeds will help in enhancing agriculture production, and in turn income for seed producing farmers.

All the three societies will ensure the upliftment of the people associated with agriculture and related activities and will procure the agricultural produce and seeds from the farmers via PACS.

This would further lead to the strengthening of PACS as the farmers associated with them will get maximum value for their produce.

The societies will be working with an objective of ensuring that profits on the net surplus go directly to farmers’ accounts, thereby preventing leakages in the process.

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What Can You Do to Help the Struggling Farmers and Their Communities?

Farmers work until the job is finished, persistently toiling even after the sun sets. No matter the winter frost or the summer heat, a farmer labors so that people everywhere can eat. The adage “If you ate today, thank a farmer” is true, but how does it apply to how our agricultural community continues to ensure fresh, nutritious produce is available nationwide? Moreover, food is also a necessity for human life at its most fundamental. People cannot survive without appropriate, nourishing food, making it a fundamental human right.

According to reports, about a billion people worldwide suffer from chronic undernourishment, and many more are unsure of where their next meal will come from. In this case, we may provide a helping hand to our food provider, who gave us the option of sleeping well after three meals. 

Furthermore, have you ever considered helping the agricultural industry and struggling farmers? Here, we’ll outline some ways you may express your appreciation to the people who manufacture our food.

Here, we suggest how you may assist underprivileged, Struggling farmers and rural communities. 

1) Inform farmers about sustainable agricultural practices 

Moreover, giving farmers the correct information about agricultural methods and agriculture would benefit the farming community. You may assist them by providing them with information and current agricultural techniques. Agroforestry, organic farming, and permaculture are examples of farming methods that are more viable and sustainable on a small, rural scale. Furthermore, to use these methods, impoverished farmers must be made aware of them and provided with the resources they require.

2) Maintain and preserve the environment

Farmers and the environment are intrinsically connected. Moreover, farmers may benefit significantly from environmental stewardship. Long-term sustainable agriculture practices will only be effective with a healthy natural environment. Farms must be built in collaboration with the local ecosystem, not at its expense.

3) Consider putting community-specific programs into place.

Each distinct geographic area has distinctive qualities that call for unique requirements. Moreover, the agricultural community is more likely to experience great success if community-specific, customized programs that address the needs of specific locations are implemented. Furthermore, the Millennium Villages Project adheres to this method.

4) Continue to Boost Soil Productivity

Increased crop yields result from a farm’s healthy soil, which is the cornerstone of a healthy farm. Furthermore, to maintain soil productivity, the soil must be rebuilt after extensive cultivation. Techniques like fertilization, composting, interplanting, crop and field rotation, and fertilization can all help restore vital soil nutrients.

5) Access to Sustainable Water and Irrigation

A reliable water source is essential for the life of humans and the growth of crops. Drip irrigation systems allow farmers access to water for their crops, while rainwater gathering systems and wells may supply water to a community.

6) Boost the Production of Sustainable Crops

“The most excellent method to adopt the finest farming practices is through sustainable farming. Furthermore, to combat undernourishment and improve food security, crop yields must be increased. Farmers need access to high-quality seeds and knowledge about crop management, planting, growing, and harvesting.”

Also Read:- Benefits of Pesticide Use in Agriculture

7) Economic Structure

Economic structure has a significant impact on how farmers grow. To market their goods, farmers need a means to contact residents.

Small-scale farmers can also profit from farmer cooperatives, in which all the farmers in a community pool their resources to get a higher price for their commodities. Aid organizations must fund the infrastructure and knowledge required to build farm-based economic systems.

8) Developmental Programmes for Newborns and Their Mothers

“For the growth and welfare of the agricultural community, additionally, providing health care services to mothers, infants, and female farmers may be very beneficial.”

9) Teaching them how to take advantage of government programs

A lack of knowledge and education in the agricultural community has prevented the government from fully implementing its many welfare programs for farmers. Moreover, these programs have not yet reached the grassroots level. You may assist them by spreading knowledge and offering fundamental education about such programs.

“By doing this, you can not only help those who put in land instead of just hours. So, if you ate today, thank a farmer who toils with their blood and sweat to provide three meals a day and a restful night’s sleep.”

Wheat stock with Food Corporation of India falls below 100 lakh tones for the first time since 2018

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has reported a decline in wheat stocks, falling below 100 lakh tones for the first time since 2018, standing at 97 lakh tones this month. This decrease is attributed to low procurement over the past two years and a significant sale of the cereal in the open market to regulate prices. However, in contrast, rice stocks held by FCI currently exceed four times the buffer norm.

Despite the drop in wheat stocks, the current level remains above the statutory buffer stock requirement, which stands at 74.6 lakh tonnes for April. An official told TOI that the existing stock is sufficient to meet the National Food Security requirements and surpasses the buffer norm. With the procurement season commencing from March 1, authorities anticipate a notable improvement in procurement compared to the previous two years.

The government has projected wheat procurement to reach approximately 320 lakh tones, ensuring a favorable position for the government. In June 2023, the government initiated the sale of wheat in the open market to enhance availability and stabilize prices. By the end of February, FCI had sold over 90 lakh tones through market intervention. Since the commencement of public procurement, open market sales have been halted.

Regarding rice, FCI’s current stock stands at around 270 lakh tonnes, excluding nearly 30 lakh tonnes expected from millers. Buffer norms dictate that FCI should maintain approximately 136 lakh tonnes of rice by April 1.

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Benefits of Pesticide Use in Agriculture

Pesticides are essential. They assist farmers in growing more food on less land by protecting crops against pests, diseases, and weeds and increasing yield per hectare. Pesticides safeguard plants against weeds, illnesses, and pests that can potentially wipe out entire crops. Currently, these dangers result in the annual destruction of up to 40% of the world’s potential crops. In the absence of pesticides, this percentage might rise quite quickly.

For this reason, all farmers use pesticides in some capacity to safeguard their crops. Even organic farmers still use pesticides because they prefer natural pesticides to the more widely used synthetic ones. What are the advantages of pesticides, and why are they so crucial? Here are some essential facts regarding utilizing pesticides.

Advantages of Pesticide 

  • Pesticides help farmers save money by allowing them to grow more crops in the same field. Growing organic vegetables requires more expenditure due to hand weeding than herbicide-grown produce.
  • Pesticides aid in the reduction of waterborne and insect-borne infections. It aids in the prevention of disease transmission caused by insects and rodents. 
  • Pesticides are employed to conserve and safeguard the environment because they can help prevent deforestation and soil erosion and aid in preserving natural resources.
  • Using pesticides can help boost crop output and, thus, the farmer’s revenue. It will raise farmers’ living conditions and overall quality of life.
  • Pesticides allow farmers to save time by protecting their crops from weeds rather than spending hours eliminating weeds around them. Farmers do not need to repeatedly till the field to increase their crops when their crop is pest-free.
  • Pesticides helped developing countries like India become food producers. Crop protection assists farmers in protecting their crops and providing a bountiful supply to the populace.
  • Pesticides extend the shelf life of food in storage chambers or warehouses. They also help reduce high post-harvest losses caused by plant diseases and pests and keep food safe.

Effect of Pesticide 

Pesticides have a variety of consequences on our environment, health, and even inside our homes. These effects are as follows:

Environmental Impacts

While in the field, chemical pesticides pollute our surroundings. Although their impacts are transient, they may begin to cause dangerous environmental and health consequences if they linger in the environment. When chemical pesticides are sprayed on crops, they may spread to areas other than the targeted area.  

Impact on Crops and Soil

Pesticides impair soil quality, which in turn reduces food quality and productivity. Chemical pesticides lessen the nutritional value of food and contaminate it. When we eat foods like apples, lettuce, potatoes, or strawberries, these chemicals enter our bodies and can cause various health problems. While these chemical pesticides are designed to eliminate organisms found on crops, they are equally detrimental to other living creatures.

Health Impact

Pesticide exposure can result in both short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) health concerns. Acute side effects include rashes, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, breathing difficulties, eye irritation, and so on. Chronic impacts can result in birth abnormalities, cancer, brain damage, reproductive harm, and other problems. Chronic health conditions might cause symptoms to appear months or even years later.

What are the use of Pesticides

Farmers employ pesticides and insecticides to keep worms and insects away from their crops. Farmers try to grow more crops that are not diseased since there is not enough acreage to meet the demand for food production. To increase output, they frequently use pesticides, but this causes the soil to become less fertile over time. Farmers employ pesticides and insecticides in response to all of these factors. They also use this to protect human health by preventing crop fungal infections.

Farmers have increased the usage of pesticides and fertilizers to enhance crop productivity and satisfy the government’s targets for food sufficiency. Today, farmers rely entirely on pesticides to boost agricultural productivity worldwide and protect plants from a wide range of harmful insects, pests, and diseases.

What are the Effects of not using Pesticides?

Every day, plants encounter many threats that threaten to wipe them out. There are about 30,000 weed species alone, many of which can restrict plant growth and even ruin entire crops. Furthermore, there are about 10,000 different varieties of insects that devour plants. Then there are the hazards that the plants confront once they are harvested and stored since insects, rats, and mold can all cause damage to them.

Allowing the plants to die without pesticide protection is not an option, as this decision would have far-reaching effects. Not only would farmers lose a lot of money and time, but the globe would lose a lot of food. This would be outrageous, given that around 795 million people worldwide lack enough food. Furthermore, what little food we’d have left would be too expensive for most people to afford, implying that few people could buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains all year, resulting in a health crisis. Pesticides are required for crops.

Also Read :- Pros And Cons Of Regenerative Agriculture

Conclusion

Pesticide have been a long disputed issue in agriculture, with concern regarding the environment and health issues. However their benifits canot be overlooked. Pesticide play important role in increasing crop yield, improving farming practices and extending the shelf life of food. It is important to use pesticide responsibly and in moderation, while also exploring and investing in alternative pest control methods. With proper management, pesticides can continue to be a valuable tool in promoting food security and sustainable agriculture.

Plant These 5 Veggies in March-April for a Bumper Crop!

As we welcome March, it’s time for farmers to roll up their sleeves and get ready for planting season. But it can be tough to know exactly what to plant, right? That’s why it’s important to consider planting the top 5 veggies this March-April. Let’s discuss in detail:

1. Coriander Crop: Spice Up Your Fields

Who doesn’t love fresh coriander in their dishes? It’s that magic ingredient that brings flavour to everything. March-April is the perfect time to grow it! With temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, your coriander will thrive, and you’ll have a tasty addition to your harvest.

2. Onion Crop:

Onions are a kitchen essential, right? March-April is a good time to plant onions! With temperatures between 10 to 32 degrees Celsius, it’s like they’re in onion paradise. Plus, you’ll have green onions ready to harvest in just 40-50 days, and full-grown onions in about 150-160 days. How’s that for a timeline?

3. Okra Crop:

Okra is that trusty veggie you can use in so many dishes, from stews to soups. And the best part? You can grow it easily in pots or grow bags during March-April. With temperatures between 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, your okra will be loving life and ready to make its way into your kitchen creations.

4. Cucumber Crop: Stay Cool

When the heat of summer hits, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing cucumber. And guess what? March-April is the time to plant them! With their high water content, cucumbers are in high demand during the hot months. So, get them in the ground now, and you’ll be reaping the rewards later.

5. Brinjal Crop:

Brinjal plants love to soak up the sun, and March-April is their time to shine. With temperatures around 13-21 degrees Celsius, they’ll be thriving in your fields. So, why not give them a try? You might just find yourself with a bountiful harvest and a little extra cash in your pocket.

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Role of Resistant Chilli Varieties in Mitigating Phytophthora Root Rot and Chilli Leaf Curl Virus

India is the global leader in the production, consumption, and export of dry chilli, a vital component of its spice industry. Chilli is one of the most important spices integral to Indian cuisine. With approximately 400 different types of chillies cultivated across the country, the economic significance of chillies was evident, contributing over 130 billion Indian rupees in the fiscal year 2020. However, recent challenges have emerged, posing significant threats to chilli crop production and thereby impacting the nation’s economy. The Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) has developed three hybrid chilli varieties that exhibit resistance to several diseases including phytophthora root rot (PRR) and leaf curl virus (LCV).

Threats from Phytophthora Root Rot & Chilli Leaf Curl Virus

Phytophthora root rot (PRR) and Chilli leaf curl virus (ChLCV) are identified as major adversaries jeopardizing chilli cultivation. PRR, attributed to the fungal oomycete soil-borne pathogen Phytophthora capsici Leonian, is notorious for causing root rot, resulting in substantial yield losses. This destructive pathogen is estimated to inflict global losses amounting to approximately USD 100 million annually.

Concurrently, the spread of ChLCV, transmitted by whiteflies, has emerged as a devastating menace, particularly in the Indian subcontinent. Alarmingly, instances of nearly 100% yield loss have led to the withdrawal of chilli cultivation by farmers in certain regions of India.

Ineffectiveness of Chemical Control and Imperative of Host Plant Resistance

Chemical control measures against these pathogens have proven ineffective and have raised concerns regarding chemical residues, which can hinder export prospects. Consequently, there is a pressing need to explore alternative strategies, with the advocacy for host plant resistance emerging as the most promising approach.

Development of Resistant Varieties

In response to these challenges, significant strides have been made in breeding resistant chilli varieties. Through a combination of phenotypic selection and marker-assisted selection, Cytoplasmic Genic Male Sterility (CGMS) lines have been developed. These lines were subsequently utilized to create F1 hybrids, employing male parents resistant to ChLCV.

Twenty CGMS-based F1 hybrids, alongside commercial check varieties, underwent rigorous evaluation for resistance against Phytophthora root rot. The assessment involved artificial challenge inoculation as well as testing in infected plots. Encouragingly, certain varieties, notably LCVH 24 (Arka Nihira), LCVH 29 (Arka Dhriti), and LCVH 30 (Arka Gagan), exhibited consistent resistance to both Phytophthora root rot and ChLCV.

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Pros And Cons Of Regenerative Agriculture

A regenerative farming strategy focuses on recovering soils damaged by excessive chemical fertilizers and pesticides in industrial and agricultural practices. Regenerative farming approaches, on the other hand, encourage conservation and better ecosystems by replenishing soil organic matter through holistic farming and grazing strategies.

The agriculture business is now one of the world’s top carbon dioxide emitters. It accounts for one-third of all artificial greenhouse gases combined with deforestation and inadequate forest management.

Globally, people and industries are growing more interested in adopting sustainable practices such as permaculture, and there is a significant push within agriculture to minimize emissions and waste.

The Pros of Regenerative Agriculture

Practitioners of regenerative agriculture rely on nature to perform the heavy lifting. There are several benefits to implementing conservative agricultural practices into your farming operation, including:

1. Improved soil fertility- Regenerative farming practises will result in healthier, more fertile soil. Better soil has a better water-holding capacity, making crops more resistant to adverse weather conditions. Regenerative agriculture creates a porous soil structure, which lowers nutrient runoff and erosion.

2. Produces more robust crops- Regenerative agriculture practices have increased production since crops grown in organic systems are more resistant to harsh weather. Because the soil is highly healthy and contains beneficial soil bacteria that inhibit disease and contribute to excellent water retention, these practices can produce more robust crops.

3. Reduced carbon footprint- Regenerative agriculture practices strive to reduce harmful emissions by integrating dynamic and comprehensive permaculture and organic farming practices. These practices include cover crops, composting, pasture cropping, conservation tillage, and crop rotation.

4. Reduced chemical runoff and soil erosion- Regenerative agriculture practices like crop rotation create better year-round soil. This practice tries to replace the soil’s lost nutrients and minimizes water and fertilizer runoff since better soil is less prone to erosion.

5. Reduced production costs- Because artificial fertilizers and pesticides, which may be highly expensive, are not used in regenerative agriculture, the soil is healthier and contains more nutrients. Furthermore, these practices transform the farm into a more resilient ecosystem that can survive harsh weather and invasive species disruptions.

Cons Of Regenerative Agriculture

The regenerative farmer attempts to reestablish the original mixed-farm model by combining multiple aspects on the farm, a crucial factor in the post-COVID food sector.

A farm can limit external inputs and outputs, and hence the danger of contamination, by cultivating a more extensive range of commodities in one location.

However, to practice regenerative agriculture effectively, many farmers must learn new skills and expertise, notably in soil management. Managing farmers’ expectations of outcomes may also be problematic since opponents have accused proponents of exaggerating yield and benefit claims.

Farmers can save between 30 and 40% of their time by not tilling the soil and reducing soil erosion in certain terrains. Still, the disadvantage of regenerative agriculture is that more unwanted plants grow on the land, which some farmers compensate for by increasing their herbicide use.

It is also conceivable that the level of soil deterioration has been overestimated. Soil deterioration is difficult to quantify, and estimates from various organizations vary greatly.

Also Read:- What is Composting? Its Types and Advantages

Features of Cons Of Regenerative Agriculture

1. necessitates more effort- Regenerative agriculture necessitates extra labor to create items ready for sale. A more significant physical strain, such as weeding and other cultivation techniques, may be handled in traditional agriculture with artificial pesticides and tillage machinery.

2. Requires specialized knowledge- An organically grown crop’s quality greatly depends on your abilities, expertise, and experience. Crop development patterns must be monitored throughout each critical growth stage in regenerative farming.

The crop’s value may suffer if you cannot identify and treat an issue. You’ll also require an extensive local understanding of soil systems, ecology, weather, and other crop development factors.

3. Distinctive challenges with marketing- Most farmers, including yourself, will agree that organic crops are more expensive than commodity foods or those cultivated commercially. The local market for organic goods currently needs to be defined for other crops.

This makes it difficult for specialty farmers to compete with other commercially produced items that are easily accessible and less expensive.

4. Strict certification procedure- To become an organic producer, you must spend more money on certifying agents, which raises the entire cost of production.

5. Higher in price than commercial farming- To qualify as an organic agricultural firm, you must invest in infrastructure and other start-up expenditures. Soil supplements, such as rock dust, are more expensive for many farmers than pesticides commonly employed in commodity farming.

Regenerative farming has a long way to go before it can be considered a viable alternative to traditional, large-scale agriculture. It is apparent, however, that it is a source of significant ideas and impact. A regenerative strategy can provide farmers with new viable and environmentally sustainable business models.

Coconut Wholesale Prices Rise in Several Indian Mandis

The month-on-month average of wholesale prices of coconut increased in March, according to the data from the Agmarknet portal, run by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

The agri-commodity saw an increase of 1.6% to Rs 1,080 per quintal in Goa as of March 6, 2024, from Rs 1,063 in February. In Tamil Nadu, the wholesale coconut prices rose by 1.8% to Rs 2,549 per quintal, and in Karnataka, they surged by a whopping 18.94% to Rs 18,385 per quintal.

Surprisingly, the wholesale prices of coconut fell in several states such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Kerala, and Andaman and Nicobar. In Rajasthan, the wholesale rates dropped by 24.7% per quintal to Rs 1,019, and in Andaman and Nicobar, it fell sharply by 25% to Rs 9 per quintal from Rs 12 in February.

Despite these regional variations, the national month-on-month average wholesale price of coconut soared by Rs 352.71 per quintal to Rs 3,959.14.

Notably, there is a growing demand for coconuts in the Indian markets. This versatile fruit offers a variety of products beyond the refreshing drink, we know. Often, its white flesh is shredded in baking, flaked for snacks, or pressed into creamy milk for curries. The fruit is harvested throughout the year.

For those interested in exploring the prices of various crops in their respective state markets, the official website agmarknet.gov.in provides a comprehensive list. Understanding the price dynamics of different crops and their quality assessment is pivotal in navigating market fluctuations for farmers and traders alike.

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What is Composting? Its Types and Advantages

What is Composting?

Composting is a simple and natural process that converts plant waste and kitchen and garden trash into nutrient-rich food that helps plants thrive and shine. Aside from that, it improves your garden soil, which promotes plant development.

Compost is an organic material that has been collected and degraded and is commonly used in organic farming. The resulting combination is used primarily for crop fertilizer and land repair.

It is free and assists you in recycling your kitchen waste. It is also environmentally friendly because it decreases the vast amount of garbage delivered to landfills, polluting the air.

Compost is highly nutritious for plants and is hence employed in agriculture. It is used as an agricultural fertilizer. It is also utilized in gardening and landscaping. Compost can also be used as a land correction agent and for various other uses such as landfills, soil erosion prevention, soil pesticides, etc.

Compost is formed by collecting various organic materials such as leaves, green food, fruits, animal manure, etc. This collection is then wetted and allowed to degrade until it decomposes into humus over time. Composting, on the other hand, has evolved.

Commands a process with sharp observations and frequent monitoring are recent ways. Compost is handled with air, carbon materials, nitrogen materials, water, and other substances. The compost is continually stirred to ensure that it receives complete air exposure.

composting

The organic material is broken down into little pieces, wetted, and left for the worms and fungi to break down further. Aerobic bacteria, a particular sort of bacteria, also play an essential function. It contributes to chemical changes in the compost by converting the materials into heat and carbon dioxide. The preceding process also produces ammonia, which is then converted into nitrates and nitrites.

Types of Composting 

Now, let’s examine the various composting methods:

Vermicomposting

Vermi composting often uses a variety of microorganisms, insects, etc., to break down food waste. Red worms, fungi, bacteria, and other insects are used in vermicomposting to break down materials or create food for others. Contrary to anaerobic and aerobic composting, this needs moderate care. The compost must be kept healthy with enough moisture and frequent observation.

Aerobic composting

Aerobic composting is the second kind of compost. As the name implies, it composts with air and microorganisms. The bacteria dispersing the nitrogen-rich organic waste will raise the temperature to a point where it will break down swiftly and odorlessly. This form of composting requires ongoing care and attention since the material must be turned over regularly for air supply and to maintain a high temperature.

Anaerobic composting

Anaerobic composting is composting that does not require the use of air. In this case, you build a rubbish pile and wait several years for compost to form. This requires little or no upkeep since slow-moving bacteria within the trash do not require air to break down. This compost is typically found in landfills. As the compost stuff decays, it emits an odor. That is why the majority of landfills emit a foul odor.

Also Read : The Role of Plant Sprayers in Plant Protection

The Advantages of Composting

Let us now look more closely at the advantages of compost:

  • Compost is utilized to repair and enhance the degraded soil condition. As the contents of the compost rot, the microorganisms that live there produce humus. This humus is nutrient-rich and beneficial to damaged soil. It feeds the soil, keeping it fertile and moist.
  • Chemical fertilizers, which are long-term soil toxins, can be directly replaced by composting.
  • Composting aids in both the eradication of insect problems and the prevention of plant diseases, including nematodes, fusarium, and others.
  • By directing waste from the garbage can to the garden, composting enables a household to reduce its daily waste output.
  • Using compost, you may lessen the quantity of waste dumped in landfills. By doing this, you can contribute to reducing landfills and improving your city’s quality of life.
  • Soil erosion can be reduced through composting. To stop the soil from eroding, compost and water are combined and sprayed over slopes throughout Europe. When other techniques for preventing soil erosion failed, organic compost proved to function just well.
  • Pollution can be avoided through composting. The organic waste can be used in compost instead of being dumped in a landfill, eventually producing leachate and methane. It prevents rainwater that is flowing from carrying pollutants from getting to our water sources.
  • It has been observed that both semi-volatile and volatile organic substances are handled during composting. They also eliminate both chlorinated and non-chlorinated hydrocarbons. The same holds for heating fuels and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. It takes in odors and maintains a firm grip on heavy metals in the soil, preventing them from being washed away by water or eaten by plants. It is widely marketed and offered for sale commercially.

India to replace 2.5 million tonnes of conventional urea with Nano urea in FY24, minister says

India will replace the consumption of 2.5 million tonnes (mt) of conventional urea with nano urea in FY24, union chemicals and fertilisers minister Mansukh Mandaviya said at a press conference on Friday. This is in line with India’s goal of achieving self-sufficiency in urea production by 2025.

India’s urea consumption in the 10 months to February 2024 stood at 31.7 mt, down from 35.7 mt in the same period of the previous fiscal year, the minister said. “We will reduce 2.5 million tonnes (mt) of conventional urea consumption this year and replace it with an alternative fertiliser like nano urea. In February and March of FY24, we are expecting urea consumption to be no more than 1 mt on average, which will translate to a total of 32.7 mt of urea consumed in FY24,” Mandaviya said. “This is because of our efforts to create awareness among farmers to use nano-urea.”

“In the past two years, the use of conventional urea has been lower in 344 districts, and 74 districts have started using more nano urea,” he added.

About 3.3 million tonnes of nano urea (worth about ₹7 crore) produced by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) were sold from August 2021 to February 2024, the minister said.

Nano urea is a liquid form of the fertiliser for which IFFCO owns the patent. Though the cooperative claims that nano urea increases the availability of nitrogen to crops by 80% and reduces the loss of nutrients from fields, these claims have been disputed by several scientists.

Three plants across the country produce conventional urea to meet domestic demand. With India’s urea consumption growing at 6-7% a year, the government aims to use a fourth plant for its production. With this plant – owned by Talcher Fertilizers Limited in Odisha – urea production capacity could be increased by 1.25 mt a year, the minister said. The three plants currently in use produce 28.4 mt of urea a year.

Increasing the production of conventional urea and using nano urea could reduce India’s import bill by around ₹15,000-20,000 crore, union fertiliser secretary Arun Singhal said in April 2023.

Data from the department of chemicals and fertilisers showed that India’s fertiliser requirement ranges from 58 to 63 million tonnes a year, but the country produces only about 43 to 46 million tonnes and the rest is imported.

India, the second-largest consumer of fertilisers after China, is entirely dependent on imports for muriate of potash (MOP), a granular fertiliser with 60% potash content. It also imports 4.3 to 4.7 million tonnes of phosphate rock, 9.1 to 9.8 million tonnes of urea, 5.3 to 5.4 million tonnes of di-ammonium phosphate, and 1.2 to 1.4 million tonnes of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilisers.

The government spends a hefty amount on this. India’s fertiliser import bill was ₹2.2 trillion in 2022-23. It also spends a huge chunk of the union budget on fertiliser subsidies. In 2022-23, the government spent about ₹2.55 trillion, a record high, on fertiliser subsidies.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech last month, said the government would reduce the allocation for fertiliser subsidies by 13% to ₹1.64 trillion in FY25 from the revised budget estimate of ₹1.89 trillion for FY24. The original allocation for fertiliser subsidies for FY24 was ₹1.75 trillion.

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