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The Meghalaya government on August 18 decided to lift the ban on the use of fertilizers and to extend a 50 per cent subsidy to farmers for procurement of such fertilizers.

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However, the government at the same time decided to further promote organic farming by increasing awareness of the need to replace the use of fertilizers.

The decision was based on repeated request of the farmers’ association after the ban on fertilizers, which was imposed since 2014, had affected the production capacity and the income generation of the farming community in the state.

After meeting a delegation of the farmers’ association on August 18, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said that the government has decided to lift the ban imposed by the government under the leadership of Mukul Sangma in 2014 on the supply of fertilizers to the state of Meghalaya.

He informed that on August 9, the agriculture department had already issued a notification that supplying fertilizers in Meghalaya is now allowed adding that “the concerned stakeholders, the farmers, can now procure these fertilizers.”

He said that fertilizer is a controlled item as it is being regulated by the central government.

Tynsong further informed that he along with chief minister Conrad Sangma will also take up aggressively with the concerned ministry in Delhi next week for the creation of a separate quota for the state of Meghalaya for the smooth supply of fertilizers.

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These fertilizers will be ultimately routed through the Meghalaya State Cooperative Marketing and Consumers’ Federation Limited (MeCOFED), which falls under the cooperation department.

He also said the crisis of fertilizers right from 2014 till today had compelled all farmers to ultimately procure fertilizer from the black market or illegally and the price has gone up maybe four-five times from the basic price.

The deputy chief minister further announced the government’s decision to extend a 50% subsidy for the procurement of fertilizers.

“They requested the state government to extend subsidy of the fertilizers. I have already informed them that the government has also taken a decision in a meeting with the CM that 50 per cent subsidy will be extended to the farmers who procure these fertilizers,” the deputy chief minister said.

Asked by what percentage the production has been affected due to the ban on fertilizers, Tynsong said: “By and large we found out that the production percentage has gone down right from 2014 till today. For example, if one farmer produces 100 kg of potato when they apply fertilizers but minus fertilizers that production percentage has gone down to 60 kgs only. Some of them are 50 kgs so the reduction is so huge that the hue and cry of the farmers are highly justified. Therefore, the government has taken this decision.”

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