@ Vikas Sharma | Sr correspondent
New Delhi : The Indian Micro-Fertilizers Manufacturers Association (IMMA) has recommended setting up of Indian Good Agricultural Practices (IND-GAP) that specifically include Balanced Crop Nutrition on lines of Euro-GAP and Global-GAP standards, practiced in developed nations, for making agriculture environmentally sustainable, agronomically robust and economically viable. This recommendation was made at the National Crop Nutrition Summit 2018 held here today. The Summit also saw release of multiple research papers on enhancing farm productivity through micro-fertilisers. Expert discussions on emerging technologies & innovations in soil health management, enabling legislative framework to strengthen micro-fertilizer industry for creating skills and employability covered a whole spectrum of issues that are likely to impact the Government’s vision of doubling farm income.
The Summit saw participation of over 200 delegates, including the FAI, ICAR, Ministry of Agriculture, farmer association leaders accompanied by Commissioners and Directors of Agriculture from various states and all leading crop nutrition companies from across India.
Encapsulating the objectives of the Summit, Mahesh Shetty, President of IMMA said, “IMMA brings together Micro Fertilizers Manufacturer Companies to highlight the importance of balanced nutrition for the crops and to draw attention of policy makers to design a National level campaign on Importance of Balanced Nutrition for crops.Already deficiency of nutrients in soil and the food we take has led to severe mal nutrition, especially in children and women.”
The most alarming trend in crop production is the excessive use of pesticides in India. These poisons for pest control are, in many cases, the highest cost to the farmers. Reducing this cost will contribute to raising net farm incomes. One of the proven methods to prevent pest and disease incidence is balanced nutrition. It is unfortunate that most farmers concentrate on curative pesticide application instead of on crop nutrition. A healthycrop which has been supplied with all the essential major, secondary and micronutrients in a balanced form throughout the crop cycle will be resistant to most pests and diseases.
Dr. Rahul Mirchandani, Vice President, IMMA further elaborated and mentioned that, “dialogues like these help in addressing the challenges. We have managed to draw up the role that Industry needs to play and the support that the Government should extend for maximum impact on several issues involved. If we do not address these issues jointly, the right to food as a fundamental right, will remain a distant dream. The easiest link to break in this cycle will be balanced nutrition for our crops.”
Requesting a friendlier legislative framework from the Government, the Summit concluded that the Micro-Fertilizer industry would need an improved set of laws, rules and regulations to educate the farmer community, create necessary skills and increase employability. Parity in GST and other regulatory matters with NPK fertilizers was also requested.
The participants in the Summit also discussed that the crucial gap existing in improving farm productivity is the acute knowledge gap between the wealth of information available within Universities, Industry and Research Institutions. It concluded with the observation that the process of taking this information from the labs to landowners needs to be made rigorous, quick and seamless. Knowledge locked up in files and labs is useless, until applied extensively by farmers.