Introduction to biofertilizer subsidy schemes in India: Bio-fertilizers do not directly provide nutrition to plants strictly speaking. Bio-fertilizers incudes the cultures of different kinds of micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and algae which are packed in acarrier material or produced in a liquid form that mainly helps the crop plants indirectly to get nutrientsthrough biological fixation of Nitrogen (N) or Phosphorous (P) solubilisation in the soil etc.
A step by step guide to biofertilizer subsidy schemes
The mode of action of bio-fertilizers mainly depends on the species of the organism such as Rhizobium cultures which enhances Nitrogen (N) fixation in legumes cultivation majorly by imparting or supporting for the development of the effective nodulation as rhizobia are symbiotic bacteria which lives in association with leguminous plants and helps in fixation of the nitrogen from the soil.
There are many free living bacteria in soil such as Azotobacter and Azospirillum, when applied to soil, helps in increasing the N availability to plants. Other than these there are many other organisms which act on the soil and produce minerals which dissolve the native nutrients like Phosphorous which is not readily soluble in soil and available to the crop plants. The most commonly produced bio-fertilizerswhich are commonly marketed are listed below-
- Rhizobial strains based upon the type of legumes that are host specific
- Azotobacterial strains
- Azospirillum strains
- Phosphate (P) solubilizing bacteria which includes Bacillus sp, and Pseudomonas sp.
- Blue Green Algae and Azolla – on- farm level.
In the main point of increasing and indiscriminating the use of synthetic fertilizers are deteriorating soil health and productivity as well, the concept of bio-fertilizers in organic farming is gaining more importance across the world. The present day intensive agriculture practices have resulted into soil fatigue, and gradual deterioration of soil health, to control these growing problems emphasis is being given to revive soil health by reducing the utilization of chemical inputs and increasing the utilization of biological and organic inputs. Nutrient mobilization and plant protection through natural and biological route should be the primary option followed by chemical choice to fill the gap. Growing awareness for safe and healthy food has underlined the importance of organic farming, which may be a holistic production management system supported fundamentals of minimizing the utilization of external inputs and avoiding the utilization of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
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In view of these there is a need of producing quality bio-fertilizers as well as organic fertilizers in order to increase the productivity and protect and increase the soil productivity. According to thescheme under National Project on Organic Farming a Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme is introduced the Commercial Production Units related to organic/ biological inputs has been introduced by the government. The scheme is being implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation through National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF) together with NABARD or NCDC.
Eligible groups or organizations for availing biofertilizer subsidy
These eligible groups include individuals, farmers, group of farmers/growers, proprietary, and partnership firms, Co-operatives, Fertilizer industry, Companies, Corporations, and NGOs. There are new as well as existing units used for expansion or renovations which are engaged in the production and are also eligible for most of the schemes.
Biofertilizer subsidy list
Government of India has introduced many schemes that are encouraging the main use of bio-fertilizers using instead of the harmful chemical fertilizers through State and central Governments including many districtsin India which are included under various schemes and programmes, for example, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana – PKVY, Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region – MOVCDNER, National scheme Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm – NMOOP, and National Food Security Mission – NFSM. ICAR under these projects to protect soil biodiversity.These bio-fertilizers have improved many efficient strains of bio-fertilizers specific to different crops and soil types. According to ICAR studies, it indicates that the use of bio-fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers helps to improve crop yields by at least 10-25% and supplementsalong with the costliest chemical fertilizers such as N and P by nearly 20-25% in most of the cases when used along with the chemical fertilizers. Many Agriculture Universities in India,are engaged in studies of the impact of usage of bio-fertilizers.
Steps taken by government for promotion of organic or bio-fertilisers
Paramparag at Krishi Vikas Yojana– PKVY
Assistance of subsidy of Rs. 50,000 per hectare for 3 years which is given out of which Rs. 31,000 and the subsidy is 62%which is provided to the farmers directly through DBT, for major inputs of establishing bio-fertilizers units, vermicompost, botanical extracts etc. for the production and procurement, especially the post-harvest management etc.
- National Mission on organic value chain development for north eastern region – MOVCDNER
Farmers are provided with thesubsidy of Rs. 25000 per ha and for 3 years where the both on-farm and along with off-farm inputs, and seeds and also the planting materials.
National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm shortly spelled as NMOOP
Financial assistance of 50% subsidy of an amount of Rs. 300 per ha is being provided for different components such as bio-fertilizers, and the supply of Rhizobium culture or the Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria – PSB or the Zinc Solubilising Bacteria – ZSB orthe Azatobacter or Mycorrhiza and Vermi compost.
National Food Security Mission – NFSM
Under the scheme NFSM, the financial assistance provided is for the promotion of Bio-Fertilizer of Rhizobium or the PSB at a rate of 50% of the cost limited to Rs.300 per ha.
INM and IPM
The Government of India has also introduced many schemes for promoting soil quality which is based on Integrated Nutrient Management – INM under the Soil Health Card Programme and the Integrated Pest management – IPM, practices such as cultural, mechanical, biological control of pests along with the usage of chemical fertilizersespecially to control excess use of fertilisers respectively.
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ICAR Research programmes
Research programme on One acre Integrated Organic Farming System named as IOFS models
IoFS models that are suitable for marginal farmers, there are established in Kerala, Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu which provides scope to get quite 80 you look after inputs required for organic farming within the farm, thus reducing the value of production.
The scheme under all India Network Programme on Organic Farming – AI-NPOF
Under this programme, the management of this package which are involving the reduced application of nutrients through the assembly of manures with many innovative practices which are being evaluated at many various locations which also includes use of bio fertilizers.
NABARD subsidy for Biofertilizer
The Government of India has introduced many schemes which are providing financial assistance for bio-fertilizers and manure under the following schemes to the States or UTs –
- Under National Project on Organic Farming – NPOF and therefore the financial assistance is provided as credit linked back ended subsidy through NABARD for fixing of fruits or vegetable waste and agro-waste compost unit for 33% of the entire cost of project upto Rs.60.00 lakh per unit and at a price of 25% of the entire cost of project up to Rs.40.00 lakh per unit of bio-fertilizer or the bio-pesticides production units.
- Under National Horticulture Mission – NHM the financial assistance is provided to farmers for fixing a vermicompost production units at a subsidy of fifty of the value subjected to a maximum of Rs. 30,000/- per the applicant.Under National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility – NPMSHF the subsidy for farmers and other applicants to encourage the promotion of organic fertilizer which is upto Rs.500/- per hectare.
- Under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna– RKVY, the assistance available for organic fertilizersto the farmers.
Biofertilizer subsidy from Government of India
Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India is implementing a National Project on Organic Farming – NPOF for the assembly , promotion & market development of organic farming within the country through National Centre of Organic Farming – NCOF, Ghaziabad and its six Regional Centre of Organic Farming – RCOF located at Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Hissar, Imphal, Jabalpur and Nagpur, and one among the important components of the project includes financial assistance for fixing of economic bio-fertiliser production units.
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Under the project subsidy is being provided through NABARD or NCDC of about 25% of total financial out lay of TFO or Rs. 40 lakh per unit whichever is a smaller amount for establishment of bio-fertiliser production units with installed production capacity of 200 MT per annum . Assistance is additionally available to the prevailing units for technological up-gradation, strengthening and capacity addition on similar terms and conditions restricted to 25% of monetary out lay for extra cost, restricted to Rs. 40 lakh whichever is a smaller amount . Subsidy assistance is out there through commercial banks as credit linked back-ended subsidy.
Requirement of Registration/license
Bio-fertilizers are covered under Fertilizer Control Order of Essential Commodities Act. Specifications for Rhzobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, PSB and Mycorrhiza are specified. All production facilities and trading units are required to register and acquire necessary license for production or the sale of bio-fertilizers from state controlling authorities and therefore the Department of Agriculture are covered under Central Insecticides Act and every one manufacturers are required to get mandatory license from Central Insecticides Board, by Government of India.
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