India to Adopt International Best Practices in Fertilizer Research
The Minister, while elaborating on the mandate of the council, said that areas of operation of ICFNR include promotion of research in area of fertilizer manufacturing technology, use of raw material and innovation in fertilizer products, eco-friendly micro nutrients and pesticide coated slow release fertilizers, bio fertilisers & organic fertilisers and their derivatives.
Shri Ananth Kumar noted that though there are a number of private companies / institutions which are also doing research in the field, there is hardly any dedicated national research institute which is exclusively devoted to fertilizer and nutrient research, indigenising the available technology and developing innovative fertilizer products to suit Indian requirement.
India is the second largest consumer of fertilizers in the world after China. Indian fertilizer requirement is largely dependent on imports – around 25% in case of Urea, around 50% in case of Natural gas (feedstock), more than 50% in case of phosphatic and around 100% for potassic fertilizers. India is also dependent on foreign players for sourcing of technology / licensing and technological up-gradation. Hence it is of prime importance to have an indigenous research environment in India to achieve Food Security for the common man, the Minister added.
ICFNR would be having a Governing Council and an Executive Committee for monitoring the progress in the field. The Governing Council is chaired by the Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers and Executive Committee is chaired by Secretary, Fertilizers. Governing Council will meet every six months and Executive Council will meet every quarter.
ICFNR is located at National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) office, Noida. NFL will also provide secretarial assistance including staff for ICFNR. For the initial funding, seed money from the three Fertilizer PSUs viz. NFL, RCF and FAGMIL will be provided on annual basis. Subsequently, Government of India will provide budgetary support and the ICFNR shall be funded by Department of Fertilizers through Plan fund allocation for which a separate plan head will be created.
Dignitaries present during the meeting included senior officers of the Ministry, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and CMDs of all Fertilizer PSUs.