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NFL promotes compost use
In addition to offering all products and services to farmers in India, the National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) is actively encouraging the use of organic humus in its territories, says the company's chairman and managing director MANOJ MISHRA
As maintaining soil health has become crucial for a sustainable green cover, the National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) is aggressively promoting the use of compost in its adopted villages and in the process lending impetus to the Swachh Bharat campaign. Calling the product City Compost, its chairman and managing director Manoj Mishra says the company is offering the lowest price in the industry to give an opportunity to farmers for using it widely. Excerpts from an interview:
What is your plan to implement and promote use of City Compost?
NFL is offering the lowest prices in the industry for City Compost so that farmers at least try it out. The company also undertook a three-year project under CSR at 10 adopted villages in Madhya Pradesh and Haryana to promote the benefits and use of City Compost. In addition, 43 villages were adopted in its marketing territory to demonstrate the benefits of its use. As a result, we sold around 2660 MT of compost in the year 2016-17 and 11695 MT of compost in the year 2017-18. However, we have set an ambitious target to sell around 20,000 MT of compost in 2018-19.
Can you share the highlights of financial year 2017-18?
The year 2017-18 was a record year for the third time in a row for NFL when the company set new records of production and sale of urea. The company recorded the best-ever urea production of 38.10 lakh MT with 118 per cent capacity utilisation, highest-ever sale of 43.09 lakh MT of fertilisers and highest ever turnover of Rs 8,928 crore. With these efforts, the company recorded a profit of Rs 335 crore in 2017-18, the best in the last 15 years. This is despite keeping an amount of Rs 246 crore aside as provision for higher ceiling of Gratuity and Pay Revision of employees. Otherwise, the profit figure would have crossed a new high of Rs 500 crore. Neem-coated urea has become increasingly popular among the farmers because of its higher yield and anti-pest qualities. In compliance with the government’s policy, NFL is producing this variant of herbalist urea at all its plants.
How do you plan to make NFL more responsive to the needs of farmers?
We were primarily a urea manufacturing company. After adoption of “NFL Vision 2020-21”, we forayed into the marketing of other fertilisers like DAP, MoP, NPK, Bentonite sulphur, bio-fertilisers, city compost, seeds and agro-chemicals. We are offering bio-fertilisers in three strains and promoting their use by organising regular trainings to farmers. The company is also providing certified quality seeds to farmers through its own seed multiplication programme. We have opened 100 model retail outlets or Kisan Suvidha Kendras in our territory for providing all types of products and services to farmers at one place. The company is getting regular feedback about the demand of new products and is planning to add such products in its product line in the future.
What is your non-urea product bouquet?
NFL has steadily transformed from a single to a multi-product company. Apart from fertilisers, the non-urea business of NFL has almost doubled in 2017-18 with import of 4.59 lakh MT of fertilisers (DAP, MoP, NPK). NFL has commissioned its own Bentonite Sulphur plant in Panipat in December, 2017, with an annual capacity of 25,000 MT. The seeds and agro-chemical business of company are also picking up. This non-urea segment has significantly helped NFL in increasing the profitability as the income from this segment increased to 15 per cent in 2017-18 from a mere one per cent in 2014-15.
What are your new plans for Direct Subsidy Benefit to farmers?
NFL has procured and deployed point-of-sale (PoS) machines at retailers’ points for implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in its territory. The company has trained retailers for use of these machines. NFL will work closely work with the Government in a similar manner when the next phase of DBT is implemented.
How far has the Ramagundam project progressed?
The Ramagundam joint venture project is progressing satisfactorily and is likely to start commercial production by the end of the financial year. The plant will have a capacity to produce 12.72 lakh MT urea per annum. Since NFL will be marketing Ramagundam urea under its brand name, the company has strengthened its marketing network in southern states. NFL is also providing its HR expertise to the JV by supplying experienced technical manpower in addition to recruitment and training of fresh manpower of RFCL.
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