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The Indian Biogas Association (IBA) has made a case for fixing fair and remunerative price of “fermented organic manure” (FOM) at about Rs 5.5 per kg, excluding the government incentive of Rs 1.5 per kg, to support biogas plants in the country.

The government has recently announced the Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme, under which the government approved Rs 1,451 crore for promoting organic fertilisers. Under MDA, the bio fertiliser coming out of a biogas plant — technically known as FOM, the producers get Rs 1.5 for each kg, over and above the sale price of FOM.

The IBA in a memorandum to the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizer said that in the initial phase of improving the end-market linkage of FOM, it is imperative for the ministry to administer the fair remunerative market price for FOM producer, it said. It further added that the floor market price should have additional leeway to accommodate for additional logistics and transportation charges, if incurred and suggested an additional rate of approx. Rs 50/ton/km.

According to the IBA, FOM is being sold at a rate ranging from Rs 0.50 to 4.50 per kg in the country. Now, with the separated solid and liquid FOM getting recognised in the Fertilizer Control Order (FCO), it is particularly recommended to devise quality protocols to improve the credibility and acceptance of the FOM, it suggested. The department of fertiliser in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and relevant industry stakeholders, should look forward to

devising an appropriate BIS standard or Eco-Mark for defining a Quality protocol, enabling better market acceptance and linkage to the FOM, it stated.

The body stated that the Department of Fertilizer should also notify all Fertilizer Marketing Companies to come up with an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the registration of producers of the FOM and its offtake from centralised as well as

decentralised biogas/bio-CNG plants. Additionally, it stated that the fertiliser marketing companies should be tagged at district level for facilitating application to the EOIs by corresponding FOM producers in a given district or GA

(Geographical Area). The body also suggested that Department of Fertilizer needs to ensure adequate assistance from the Fertilizer Marketing companies (IFFCO, KRIBHCO, NFL, etc.) towards the co-marketing of FOM along with chemical fertilizers

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