In the pursuit of sustainable agricultural practices, India is gearing up to introduce the PM Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana, popularly known as the PM PRANAM scheme. Aimed at reducing the dependency on chemical fertilizers, this scheme holds the promise of not only enhancing agricultural productivity but also mitigating the adverse environmental and soil effects associated with conventional fertilizers
The PM PRANAM Scheme
The PM PRANAM scheme is a strategic initiative by the Indian government to incentivize states in minimizing the use of chemical fertilizers. With a vision to alleviate the subsidy burden on chemical fertilizers, which was projected to surge to Rs. 2.25 lakh crore in 2022-2023, the scheme intends to pass on 50 percent of subsidy savings as grants to states that successfully cut down on fertilizer expenses.
Utilization of Grants:
Under the PM PRANAM scheme, states are mandated to allocate 70 percent of the granted funds towards creating assets that facilitate the technological adoption of alternative fertilizers and establish production units at district levels, villages, and blocks. The remaining 30 percent can be utilized to incentivize panchayats, self-help groups, farmer producer organizations, and individual farmers, while also fostering awareness campaigns to promote reduced fertilizer usage.
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Monitoring and Comparison:
To gauge the effectiveness of the scheme, the government plans to compare each state’s annual change in chemical fertilizer usage with its average consumption over the past three years. The Integrated Fertilizer Management System (iFMS), a dashboard managed by the fertilizer ministry, will be instrumental in making these comparisons.
Notably, the PM PRANAM scheme will not have a separate budget. Instead, it will be funded through the savings from the existing fertilizer subsidy programs, as provided by the Department of Fertilizers under various schemes.
The Imperative for PM PRANAM:
Over the last five years, there has been a substantial increase in the demand for four key fertilizers—Urea, DAP, MOP, and NPK. The surge in fertilizer usage, coupled with a global increase in fertilizer prices, prompted the need for a balanced approach. The PM PRANAM scheme emerges as a response to this imperative, aiming to encourage the judicious use of fertilizers and the adoption of alternatives.
Government Support and Financial Commitment:
The Indian government, recognizing the challenges posed by rising global fertilizer prices, has demonstrated its commitment to supporting farmers. In addition to the existing fertilizer subsidy of Rs. 1.05 lakh crore, an additional subsidy of Rs. 1.10 lakh crore was declared by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, in May. Despite the budgetary allocations of Rs. 79,530 crore in the Union Budget 2021-22, the revised estimates saw an increase to Rs. 1.40 lakh crore, reaching around Rs. 1.62 lakh crore in the fiscal year 2021-22.
Current Status of PM PRANAM Scheme:
The PM PRANAM scheme is currently in the drafting phase after detailed discussions with state government officials during the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign. Inter-ministerial discussions have been initiated, and once the inputs from concerned departments are incorporated, the final draft will be ready for implementation.
The PM PRANAM scheme signifies a pivotal step towards sustainable agriculture in India. By encouraging the balanced use of fertilizers and promoting alternatives, this initiative not only addresses the immediate economic concerns but also underscores the government’s commitment to environmental stewardship and the long-term well-being of the agricultural sector. As the scheme progresses, it holds the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future.
What is the PM PRANAM scheme?
The PM PRANAM scheme, officially known as the PM Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana, is a government initiative in India aimed at reducing the use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture.
What is the primary objective of the PM PRANAM scheme?
The main goal of the PM PRANAM scheme is to incentivize states to minimize their reliance on chemical fertilizers, thus reducing the adverse effects on soil and the environment. It also aims to alleviate the government’s subsidy burden on chemical fertilizers.
How does the PM PRANAM scheme function?
The scheme plans to pass on 50 percent of subsidy savings as grants to states that successfully reduce their chemical fertilizer usage. States are then required to allocate these funds for creating assets that promote the adoption of alternative fertilizers and production units at various levels.
What is the proposed utilization of the granted funds under the PM PRANAM scheme?
States are mandated to utilize 70 percent of the granted funds for creating assets that facilitate technological adoption of alternate fertilizers. The remaining 30 percent can be used to incentivize various stakeholders like panchayats, self-help groups, farmer producer organizations, and individual farmers, along with awareness campaigns for reduced fertilizer usage.
How is the government addressing the rising global prices of fertilizers?
The government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting farmers by declaring an additional fertilizer subsidy of Rs. 1.10 lakh crore, in addition to the existing subsidy, to mitigate the impact of rising global fertilizer prices.