The Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme will increase organic fertilizers production from Gobardhan Plants and will cut 96 lakh tonnes chemical fertiliser import and reap benefits worth Rs 11,000 crore, according to Indian Biogas Association (IBA). Earlier in June this year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved the Rs 1,451-crore MDA scheme, which consists of innovative incentive mechanisms for the restoration, nourishment, and
betterment of mother earth. In its study, the IBA said this scheme will give impetus to not only existing biogas
and compressed biogas plants, which are struggling to channelize their biofertilizer, but will provide additional support
for at least 500 new Biogas plants.
In case the given MDA fund is channelled, 9.6 MMTPA of generated biofertilizer shall be supported, leading to a reduction in the import of chemical fertiliser, the industry body said. The IBA estimated 96 lakh tonnes reduction in the import of chemical fertiliser through the MDA.
A biogas plant produces a significant fraction (around 10 per cent – 15 per cent) of the input as organic fertiliser called
fermented organic manure (FOM), it said.
As per an ICAR study, biofertilizers can improve crop yields by 10 to 25 percent and supplement costly chemical fertilisers (N, P) by nearly 20 to 25 percent in most cases, when used along with the chemical fertilisers.
From this viewpoint, it said the announcement of Rs 1,500 per tonne of biofertilizer is a welcome step. This will push a
minimum of 3.2 MMT per year of biofertilizer into Indian soil, it added.
The body said that the overall benefits envisaged by the government’s move are almost eight times greater than the MDA
provided, which is above Rs 11,000 crore.
Considering the storage, handling, and distribution of liquid fermented organic manure, the value of GHG reduction
(CO2, CH4, and N2O reduction), the value of reduced N-eutrophication of ground water, savings related to organic waste
treatment, and the value of improved organic fertiliser, apart from the direct benifet of biogas, every rupee contributed
from the government side to support biofertilizer will give around eight to ten times the return, it said.