The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has also constituted a team to prepare a road map for reforms and achieve higher growth in the fertiliser sector in a medium to long term period.
The government on Thursday said it is closely monitoring the production and distribution of fertilisers to ensure that soil nutrients are made available to farmers during the upcoming rabi (summer-sown) season, amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has also constituted a team to prepare a road map for reforms and achieve higher growth in the fertiliser sector in a medium to long term period. “To deal with the turbulent situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda, Minister of State Mansukh Mandaviya and Secretary Department of Fertilizers Chhabilendra Raul are closely monitoring and reviewing the production and distribution activities of fertilizers in the country,” an official statement said.
The intervention at the highest level is ensuring required availability of fertilisers to farmers across India, it said.”The real time monitoring by the Department is being done to tide over any issue in the production and supply chain. There is complete coordination with various agencies at the Centre and the State/UT administration to ensure the adequate fertilizer availability,” the statement said.
The Department of Fertilizers (DoF) has been taking up issues at inter-ministerial level and also with States/ UTs for addressing operational constraints. DoF has advised all the fertiliser companies to ensure smooth movement of soil nutrients from plants and ports and to provide the details of fertilizer rakes which were held up in States/ UTs due to the lockdown.
The unloading of held-up rakes has been done through a concerted effort with the Ministry of Railways and respective State Agriculture departments. The intensive monitoring is underway on hourly and daily basis. They have also been told to explore the possibility of additional storage of fertilizers in nearby plants.
DoF is coordinating with the Ministry of Shipping for priority berthing of fertilisers and also allowing unloading and movement of fertilisers at ports. “State/ UTs Agriculture Departments, Chief Secretaries of
States/UTs have been requested to ensure continuous movement of fertilizers as an essential commodity,” the statement said.
The department has issued advisories to its PSUs and private industry to ensure social distancing, proper hygiene practices, sanitation etc. to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
“A team of officials has been constituted to prepare a clear road map regarding key reforms and other initiatives in order to restore growth in the medium to long term in the fertilizer sector and oversee implementation of the road map,” the statement said.