Prompted by the success in curtailing usage of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilizer by 29% in the kharif crops, Tandarust Punjab Mission will now focus on restraining the usage of urea, informed KS Pannu, Mission Director, Tandarust Punjab.Goaded by the lust to get more yield or in a bid to keep up in race of quantum of fertilizers used by fellow farmers or simply due to ignorance, farmers tend to use nearly twice the required quantity of Urea in the fields, opined Pannu and added that instead of two bags per acre of neem coated urea recommended by PAU, farmers are using three to five bags.Enunciating the stats, he said that during the Kharif season, paddy is sown in 30.65 lakh hectares in the State. Urea consumption registered for the same is about 10 lakh tonnes which is 3.15 lakh tonne over and above the recommended quantity. In case paddy sowing is preceded by green manuring, the requirement of urea decreases further.The excess urea adversely affects the soil health by increasing the toxicity. It makes the crops susceptible to diseases and above all it burns a hole in the pockets of the farmers by increasing the input cost exorbitantly.“In times when agriculture is no longer a profitable venture, cutting down the input costs is a magic wand to boost the profits.
So, Tandarust Punjab Mission aims at putting Rs. 200 crore being spend on excess urea purchase, back into the farmers kitty,” said Pannu.The strategy to achieve the same is "Awareness, Motivation and Compliance", said he and added that an extensive awareness campaign would be undertaken where in the farmers would be guided about the optimal usage of urea and the pros and cons of adhering and non adhering to the directions of the experts. Special training camps and awareness seminars would also be organised and literature in the form of pamphlets/leaflets would be distributed to the farmers. Awareness initiatives through posters, hoardings, advertisements in print, electronic media and radio are on. This would be followed by motivational interactions and field visits to the farms of progressive farmers adhering to the advice of the experts. Last but not the least would be ensuring strict compliance with the norms via laid down guidelines, said Pannu.