Frequently Asked Questions :: Fertilizers

How inorganic fertilizers differ from bio-fertilizers?

Chemical fertilizers are manufactured artificially. They are primarily, chemicals having nitrogen, phosphate and potash as main soil nutrients. Bio-fertilizers are plants such as bacteria (azotobacter, rhizobium etc.), fungi etc. that fix free nitrogen from the atmosphere, which is then 'used by the crops.

Are inorganic fertilizers harmful for crops, if used in excess quantity or in wrong combination of nutrients?

Yes, higher doses of chemical fertilizers can be harmful to crops. Use of wrong combination of nutrients would certainly not result in the best possible yield. Besides, sometimes even longer use of wrong combination of nutrients may harm the crops.

What is meant by "balanced fertilization"?

The requirement of nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash are soil and crop specific. The use of right ratio of nutrients as per soil or crop requirement is known as "balanced fertilization".

How can I calculate the dose of fertilizer for any crop?

The dose depends on the crop and soil nutrient status. For further details contact your research stations/ KVKs/ Agricultural Officers.

Is there any expiry date of fertilizers?

There is no expiry date for chemical fertilizers. However, in case of imported Fertilizers, the container (bag) has indication regarding month and year of Manufacture/import.

What is Fertilizer Control Order?

Fertilizer (Control) Order, 1985 which is administered by Department of Agriculture Cooperation, Govt. of India has been issued under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The FCO lays, down as to what substances qualify for use as fertilizers in the soil, product-wise specifications, methods for sampling and analysis of fertilizers, procedure for obtaining license/registration as manufacture/dealer in fertilizers and conditions to be fulfilled for trading thereof, etc.

How can I take dealer license for trading in fertilizers?

The procedural requirements are detailed in Clause 8 of FCO. Application has to be made in Form A/ Al to Controller of Fertilizers of the concerned State/UT for obtaining registration/license as Industrial Dealer in fertilizers or dealer in fertilizers for agricultural sales, respectively, along with fee prescribed under Clause 36 and certificate of source in Form O.

What is the selling price of fertilizers?

Urea is the only fertilizer with statutorily controlled price & movement. the Concession Scheme on sale of phosphatic & potassic (P&K) fertilizers provides for indicative Maximum Retail Price declared by Department of Fertilizers at which these fertilizers are to be sold. MRP for Single Super Phosphate under the Scheme is declared by the respective State/UT Government. These MRPs can be viewed on this site.

Why Government is giving subsidy on fertilizers?

The Government is subsidising fertiJizers for their availability at reasonable prices for agricultural purposes. This also helps in achieving the objective of balanced use of fertilizers as disparity in prices gets minimised. The system also indirectly su'pports survival of indigenous fertilizer industry moving the country further towards becoming self sufficient in meeting its requirement.

Why subsidy is not given directly to farmers?

The main objective of the Government is to make available fertilizers at reasonable/affordable prices for agricultural purposes including farmers. This objective is achieved through fixation of statutorily backed uniform MRP for urea and indicative MRP for fertilizers covered under the Concession Scheme on sale of decontrolled P&K fertilizers. Administratively, it is not feasible to disburse subsidy directly to farmers, which would require disbursement at the time of each. purchase and the extent thereof would depend upon the quantity and type of product purchased. Also, in such a scenario, Govt. will have to lift the price control, whether statutory or indicative, as for urea and decontrolled P&K fertilizers, respectively. Then, it would be the market forces that would control the selling price for each product, which could be manufacturer specific as well. This could lead to disparity in actual to be borne by farmers in different regions of the country.

What is the difference between the Concession Scheme and Subsidy Scheme?

Urea is the only fertilizer at present with pricing and distribution being controlled statutorily by the Government. Thus, no one can sell urea above the MRP declared by the Govt. Under the Concession Scheme, the MRP for each fertilizer is indicative in nature. The manufacturers/ importers of such P&K fertilizers have to sell these at the indicative MRPs declared under the Scheme in order to meet one of themandatory conditions for being eligible to claim thereunder. While subsidy on urea is paid on dispatch concession under the Scheme is paid on the quantities sold.

Whether subsidy is payable to fertilizer mixture manufacturers?

No subsidy is payable on mixture fertilizers. However, subsidy is paid on urea and decontrolled P&K fertilizers covered under the Concession Scheme if sold to the manufacturers of mixture fertilizers registered under FCO.

How can I import and trade DAP and MOP in the country?

There is no restriction on import of DAP/MOP. For trading of DAP/MOP as fertilizers in the country, the concerned importer shall. have to obtain licence/registration under FCQ from the States/UTs where the importer proposes to sell the same. For purposes of claiming concession under the Concession Scheme, the importer shall have to . approach Deptt. of Fertilizers for being enlisted as an importer in terms of guidelines on Concession Scheme issued on 5.8.2002.

Can I get subsidy just after import of DAP/MOP?

No, the concession is payable on sale of decontrolled P&K fertilizers including imported DAP/MOP. For the purposes of claiming concession, enlistment with DOF as an importer under the Concession Scheme is a pre-condition. The procedure for claiming payment of concession is detailed in the guidelines of 5.8.2002 on Concession Scheme.

How quality control is ensured for fertilizers?

The FCO has laid down fertilizer-wise detailed specifications and no fertilizer, not meeting the said specification, can be sold in the country for agricultural purposes. It also lays down detailed procedure for sampling and analysis of each fertilizer. The Central Fertilizer Quality Control & Training Institute CFQC&TI), Faridabad and its four Regional Fertilizer Control Laboratories (RFCL) under the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation (DAC) take samples of imported fertilizers at the discharge port for analysis thereof. The States also have their own State notified quality control laboratories that analyse samples taken from field (warehouses/dealers/retailers) as well as from the manufacturing plants. Based on the analysis, the labs declare samples as standard or non-standard in terms of specifications laid down in the FCO. The sub-standard quantities are arrived at as per procedure laid down in the FCO and the copies of analysis report are sent to DAC, DOF, the concerned manufacturer/importer etc. No subsidy is payable on quantities declared as sub-standard.

Why the States certifies sales of decontrolled fertilizers?

Concession on decontrolled P&K fertilizers is payable only on the quantities sold for agricultural purposes. Sales can be ascertained or verified from the outlet sources namely dealers/retailers and wholesalers registered under FCO. The States already have administrative field machinery for supervision and implementation of Central and State Schemes, as also ensuring compliance of provisions of FCO. Thus, the States have been given the responsibility of certifying the sales of P&K fertilizers including intimation of quantities found sub-standard for settlement of claims for payment of concession.

What is the procedure for taking action against units manufacturing sub- standard fertilizers?

Primarily, provisions of FCC are directed towards manufacture, and sale of substances that can be used in the soil as fertilizers having the specifications as laid down there under. A manufacturer/dealer in fertilizers has to get himself registered in the State wherein he intends to carry out such activities in accordance with the conditions of FCC. The FCC apart from disallowing ales of sub-standard fertilizers but for in accordance with the procedure laid down there under for disposal of sub-standard fertilizers, it also authorises suspension or cancellation of registration/licence by the appropriate authority in the case of contravention of the FCC provisions.

Has the Government taken any steps to prevent manufacture and sale of sub- standard SSP?

The DCF has notified specified grades of Rock Phosphate along with their source of origin, which are considered suitable to production of SSP meeting FCC specifications in terms of water-soluble phosphate content. The Department has also set up Technical Audit and Inspection Cell (TAC), which carries out technical inspection of an SSP unit for its capability to produce SSP meeting FCC norms before induction thereof under the Concession Scheme. The use of notified grades of Rock phosphate and periodical (six monthly) inspections by TAC had been made mandatory for the units for being eligible to claim concession under the Scheme.

Whether Government gives subsidy on freight?

The Union Government subsidies the urea manufacturing units for the cost of transportation to facilitate the availability of urea at the same maximum retail price all over the country.

What is the Retention Price Scheme?

The Retention Price Scheme (RPS) for fertilizer Industry introduced from 1.11.1977 and remained in force till 31.3.2003. Under the RPS Retention Price was fixed for each unit by the Govt. The difference between the Retention Price of Urea and the maximum retail price of urea was paid as subsidy.

What is Group Concession Scheme under New Pricing Scheme?

Group Concession Scheme under NPS introduced from 1.402003 Under NPS, all units were classified into six groups based on vintage and the feedstock. For each group, weighted average group price was worked out excluding the outlier (RPS more than +/- 20% of group average). Each unit will get the concession rate based on the group average or the retention price, whichever is lower. Outlier units to get advantage of 50%n of the difference between the RPS and the group average for a period of three years.