Subsidy for organic fertilizers necessary for food security

Subsidy for organic fertilizers necessary for food security

Organised by NGO Greenpeace and Sustainable Organic Initiatives for Livelihoods (SOIL), the main aim of the public hearing was to gather grassroot level responses to the fertilizer subsidy reforms proposed by the central government.

Bharatesh Reddy, district president of Karnataka state Organic Farming Mission, said: "Every year the central government spends crores of rupees on chemical fertilizer subsidies. The budget allocation for 2009-10 for fertilizer subsidies is Rs.49,980 crores.

"Organic farmers who contribute to food security of the country with minimum damage to the environment are kept out of the subsidy benefits. However, the Karnataka government provides subsidy for organic farming. This model can be adopted by the centre."

Ganapathi, a soil scientist from the Organic Farming Research Institute, added: "Soil is the capital for the farmer and this needs to be protected through encouraging eco-friendly agricultural practices. Over dependence on chemical fertilizers should be avoided as it can jeopardise food security of the country."

Stressing that complete shift from synthetic to organic nitrogen farming is feasible, Gopikrishna S.R. of Greenpeace India said: "We will be organising similar public hearings in different parts of the country. The ideas and suggestions generated would be compiled and presented to the centre."