Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) Annual Seminar 2023 Innovations in Fertilizer and Agriculture Sectors
New Delhi: FAI is organizing 59th Annual Seminar during 6-8 December 2023 devoted to the theme of “Innovations in Fertilizer and Agriculture Sectors” at Hotel Pullman, New Delhi. Against this backdrop, a press conference was organized on 4th December 2023 at FAI House, New Delhi.
Shri N. Suresh Krishnan, Chairman, FAI, Shri S. C. Mehta, Co-Chairman, FAI, Shri Arvind Chaudhary, Director General, FAI, Directors of FAI addressed the press conference.
The Seminar will be inaugurated by Hon’ble Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizer and Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviay on 6th December 2023. The Inaugural Session will also be graced by Guest of Honour Shri Bhagwant Khuba, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers and New and Renewable Energy and Shri Rajat Kumar Mishra, Secretary (Fertilizers), will be the special guest. FAI has instituted various awards to recognize excellence in production, environment performance, safety, marketing and promotion of micronutrients, bio-fertilizers, etc. and contribution of scientists in Research and Development for improving agricultural productivity. These will be distributed by the Chief Guest.
Agricultural scientists across the world are in agreement that fertilizers have played an important role in increasing food grain productivity and sustaining population. The misconceptions about the use of fertilizers needs to be cleared. A Session has been devoted to have an interactive session with industry which would clear misconception of fertilizer use among farmers, media and general public at large. The Session will be chaired by Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, Niti Aayog. The senior government officials of the Department of Fertilizers and Ministry of Agriculture will participate in the Session.
The Seminar will have other sessions for discussing policy, agricultural developments, marketing and production technology. Total of 18 presentations have been lined up in these sessions. These will cover the following areas:
• Global fertilizer prices and geopolitical situations impacting the viability of domestic manufactures.
• The demand supply outlook, price trends of raw materials and finished products
• Innovation in agricultural practices and new generation products.
• Role of millets for ensuring food and nutritional security of the country.
• Use of green energy in the existing fertilizers production.
• Improving production, efficiency, safety and reliability fertilizer plants
• Production of Sulphur coated fertilizers as a slow release fertilizer.
• Digital and advanced technologies marketing and distribution
• Initiatives of government for empowering farmers
• Fertilizer situation
April to October 2023 period recorded an increase in the production of urea, DAP and NP/NPK complex but the production of SSP showed a decline compared to same period last year. Import of urea and MOP increased by 9.7% and 63.8% respectively during April –October 2023 compared to last year. Import of DAP and NP/NPK showed a reduction of 8.8% and 18% respectively in April – October 2023 during the same period. Sales of all major fertilizers registered a positive growth during April-October 2023 over April-October 2022.
• Industry’s Concerns
Major concern remains NPK use ratio, which was corrected to 4.3:2:1 (near ideal) in 2009-10 but again distorted and reach 12.8:5:1 for Kharif 2022 and 10.9:4.9:1 during Kharif 2023.
India’s is heavily dependent on import of various raw materials and feedstock for fertilizers. Global fertilizer prices and geopolitical situations impacting the viability of domestic manufactures. The fertilizer prices which witnessed a steep increase in the last year, cooled off during second quarter of 2022-23. These have again started to pick up. For example, DAP price was USD 924 per MT CFR India in April 2022, dropped to USD 440 per MT in July 2023 and again rose to USD 595 in October 2023. Similarly, the phosphoric acid prices declined from USD 1530 per MT in April 2022 970 USD in July 2023 and again rose to 985 in October 2023. Ammonia prices have shown the similar trend which was USD 1530 per MT in April 2022 went down to USD 285 in July 2023 again increased to 575 USD in October 2023. Urea production is also heavily dependent on imported RLNG to meet its 80-85% of its requirement.
The International price volatility, and downward correction in NBS rates for rabi 2023-24 are affecting the viability of P&K sector. The sharp reduction in NBS rates for potassium over the last few years is affecting the availability of the important primary nutrient in the soil and further widening the N:P:K use ratio.
The fixed cost for urea plants has not been revised since 2008-09, but energy consumption norms have been tightened two times since 2015. It may be highlighted that the efficiency of Indian fertilizer plants is comparable to best plants in the world. The ammonia and urea plants have improved their energy efficiency by almost 36% in last 36 years. Any further reduction in energy consumption will require huge capital investment. The policy should consider mechanism to recover the large capital investment.
Overall industry has contributed strongly to the agriculture and economic growth of the country. Government has made farmers insulated from any price volatility. The industry has played a major role in supporting the cause of the government and ensuring food security for the large population. The policy should be such that fertilizer industry remain sustainable.