One Nation, One Fertiliser Scheme: The Union Government recently ordered the implementation of ‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ (ONOF)scheme.
- The new scheme aims to bring about uniformity in fertiliser brands across the country under the single brand name of ‘Bharat’.
- According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers dated 24 August, this scheme is going to be implemented in the country from 2nd October 2022.
- Along with this, the fertiliser subsidy scheme has also been officially renamed the Pradhan Mantri Bharitya Janurvarak Pariyojna (PMBJP).
- It will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.
PMBJP - Key Provisions:
- The scheme mandates all manufacturers and businesses to sell fertiliser products under a single brand name of ‘Bharat’.
- After the implementation of this scheme, all fertiliser bags, whether containing urea or di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) or MOP or NPK will carry Bharat brand name i.e., ‘Bharat Urea’, ‘Bharat DAP’, ‘Bharat MOP’ and ‘Bharat NPK’ irrespective of the company that manufacturers it, whether in the public or the private sector.
- All bags or packaging material used for fertilisers should carry “a logo indicating Fertiliser subsidy scheme namely Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janurvarak Pariyojana (PMBJP), in two-thirds space.
- However, companies are allowed to display their name, brand and logo and other relevant product information in a very small portion of the total packaging.
- Fertilizer manufacturing companies will not be allowed to buy bags of old design from 15th September 2022
- They have been given time until December 12 to exhaust all of their previous bag designs from the market.
Aim of PMBJP:
- The decision to control the movement of Fertilisers across the country has been ordered under the Fertiliser (Movement) Control Order, 1973.
- It means that the scheme's goal is aimed at controlling black advertising by fertiliser companies and bring transparency in the system.
- The government claims that a single brand name will lower freight costs by preventing criss-cross movement of fertilizers.
- It has frequently been observed that a fertiliser business with its headquarters in Uttar Pradesh sells its goods in Maharashtra. Due to which, the demand for these brands rises in that region without any apparent cause, and when there is a shortage, people are reluctant to use another brand of fertiliser, even if they are comparable.
- As a result, there is lack of fertilisers in those areas and local fertiliser makers are impacted.
- Furthermore, the government gives huge subsidy on fertilizer products which is more than the maximum retail price, so the subsidy scheme on sacks will also be mentioned under this scheme which will prove beneficial to the consumers.
- This decision by the central government has come under heavy political criticism from opposition parties.
According to them -
- Years of investment in creating a brand and farmer loyalty will also be at risk.
- The move could harm the fertiliser companies as brands apart from being product differentiator also helps in building an image of the firm while going into the farmers’ fields.
- The scheme will limit the fertiliser companies to mere contract manufacturers and importers for the government.
- These companies undertake several field-level workshops and marketing activities with farmers to promote their products and build trust with the end-users.
- But with this move, there will be no real incentive to improve production techniques.