Mr.Prashant Bhansali, President-UPASI in a press statement stated that the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers’ move to implement a maximum limit for purchase of subsidised fertilisers and for plantation will have serious implications for plantation sector in South India The limit has been fixed at 200 bags per month per plantation.
The plantation sector employs 10.82 lakh workers in rural areas and spread over 11.57 lakh hectares comprising of 12.60 lakh holdings said Mr.Prashant Bhansali adding that the limit prescribed is very low compared to the sector’s size.
Emphasing that the allocation should be based on size he said it should be fixed on per hectare basis rather than per plantation, as size of plantations ranges from a few hectares to a few thousand hectares.
Each hectare of plantation requires from 2.0 bags to 4.0 bags per month depending on the land productivity.
Any reduction in the allotment of subsidised fertiliser will adversely impact many growers and the production will drop in larger plantations, if adequate fertilizer is not applied.
Plantations require the fertiliser during certain months of the year, depending on the rainfall, and therefore will not be in a position to buy every month.
The limits, if any, will have to be allotted on an annual basis.
The annual requirement of fertilisers varies from 24 bags per hectare to 48 bags per hectare.
Entitlement should be based on land holdings and land area is a more practical criteria.The proposed restrictions will have serious implications for the export competiveness of plantation commodities and will deny level playing field in the international market.