IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited) is the largest manufacturer of fertilizer in the country it manufactures 8 million tonnes of fertilizer each year. However its CEO Dr.US Awasthi wants the current subsidy structure done away with.
The man, who has been in the fertilizer industry for almost 5 decades, says the government should work on giving direct benefit to farmers and should also introduce nutrient-based subsidy.
“In 1977 we got into subsidy for fertilizer and it was about Rs 200 crore. Over the years the subsidy became gigantic. So about 10 years ago, I started saying that the time has come to change it. After 40 years, having the same kind of subsidy is unsustainable for farmers, government and the industry. And that is why innovations and developments have not been happening with the fertilizer industry, Today you are paying better for inefficiency and IFFCO is the biggest sufferer for its efficiency ” opinions Dr.Awasthi.
The company says it is trying to prep its 36,000 cooperative members to adopt new technology. And the its ‘weapon of mass empowerment’ is the mobile phone. To this end, it has embarked upon creating one massive cooperative market through a digital platform-iffcobazar.in. -where information is available in all Indian languages.
There is a big movement for disruptive technology and IFFCO is trying to prepare its members to adapt to that. For example, the use of nano fertilizers or solar energy – all of which will become cheaper and may out price conventional chemicals or fossil fuels in the next few years.
By 2020, the company wants to help implement strategies for sustainable development by reducing energy Consumption and better resource Management.