The government today said it has introduced 45kg bag of urea in place of existing 50 kg bag with a view to bringing down the consumption by 10 per cent. This decision was taken in September. Urea manufacturers have been given six months for smooth implementation. The consumption of urea stood at 296 lakh tonnes last fiscal. “In the light of increased effectiveness of NCU (neem- coated urea), government vide notification dated September 4, 2017 has decided to introduce 45 kg bag of urea in place of existing 50 kg bag,” Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Rao Inderjit Singh said. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, he informed that a period of six months have been given urea units as lead time to ensure smooth implementation of the policy. “Since farmers mostly assess the requirement of urea in terms of bags for agriculture purpose, it is estimated that the availability of urea in 45 kg bags instead of 50 kg bags may bring down consumption of urea by 10 per cent,” he said.
The consumption of neem-coated urea stood at 296.14 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 as against around 306 lakh tonnes each in the previous two years. To encourage balanced use of fertilisers, the government has made it mandatory for all the domestic producers of urea to produce 100 per cent as neem-coated urea. “Entire quantity of both indigenously produced urea and imported urea is being neem-coated with effect from September 1, 2015 and December 1, 2015, respectively,” Singh said, adding that the consumption of neem coated urea reduced as compared to normal urea. Urea production was 242.01 lakh tonnes in 2016-17. The gap between supply and demand is being met through imports.