Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a high-level meeting recently to assess the situation of raw materials like phosphatic rock in the country for the manufacturing of fertilisers.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Bhagwanth Khuba along with senior officials of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Ministry of Mines, Geological Survey of India (GSI), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and Mineral Exploration Corporation.
While addressing the meeting, Mansukh Mandaviya mentioned that India is committed to reduce dependency on fertiliser imports and to gain ‘Aatmanirbharta’ (self reliance) in all fertilisers. In order to achieve the goal of ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in fertiliser production, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is working continuously and exploring newer avenues.
He said, “To achieve this goal, we have to focus on scaling up production of fertilisers through indigenous raw materials. Currently we are dependent on other countries for raw materials to produce DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) and SSP (Single Super Phosphate) primarily. India needs to reduce its dependencies on import in the 21st century. In order to achieve that goal, we have to explore indigenous deposits of phosphatic rock and potash and make it available to indigenous industries to produce DAP, SSP, NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) and MOP (Muriate of Potash) to cater the needs of Indian farmers.”
It is pertinent to mention that Rock Phosphate is the key raw material for DAP and NPK fertilisers. Currently India is 90 percent dependent on imports for this raw material. Volatility in international prices affects domestic prices of fertilisers. It hinders the progress and development of the agriculture sector in the country and puts extra pressure on our farmers, he added.
Mandaviya also mentioned that the Union Government is ready with an action plan and will begin meaningful dialogue and deliberations with the states having deposits of mineral resources used for making fertilisers.
Mandaviya underlined the importance of commercial exploration of Phosphorite deposits. He called for taking all the necessary steps for ramping up the production in the existing 30 lakh MT of Phosphorite deposits. The Union Government has handed over fertiliser mineral resource bearing GRs to the tune of 536 million tonnes to various states. These deposits are available in Rajasthan, central part of peninsular India, Hirapur (Madhya Pradesh), Lalitpur (Uttar Pradesh), Mussoorie syncline and Cuddapah basin (Andhra Pradesh). It was further decided that the Department of Mining and Geological Survey of India are going to expedite the exploration in the potential potassic ore resources in Rajasthan’s Satipura, Bharusari and Lakhasar along with Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.