- The seminar was followed by award ceremony including the International Zinc Association (IZA)–FAI award on promoting the use of Zinc in Agriculture
- Ministers and senior FAI officials also launched the Fertiliser Statistics and Specialty Fertilizers & Micronutrient Statistics, containing updated 'Zinc Statistics'
Addressing 1500 delegates from 45 countries at The Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) 55th Annual Seminar, Hon'ble Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt of India, Shri Mansukh L Mandaviya spoke about different avenues that will be explored to ensure that government's effort reach out to the farmers and the agriculture sector.
Launching the Fertiliser Statistics and Specialty Fertilizers & Micronutrient Statistics, containing updated 'Zinc Statistics', the minister said, "Farmers and agriculture sector are the backbone of any country. Over the years, India has seen substantial growth in the sector. The fertilizer industry continues to contribute to an increase in agricultural productivity and farmers' income and the government will continue to support efforts. It is heartening to note that there has been a serious discussion on possible reforms within the sector, both inside and outside the government."
Emphasizing on the importance of sustainable growth of the sector, he also added, "Environment-friendly alternate fertilizer usage is the need of the hour. We assure subsidy on alternate fertilizers and urge the fertilizer companies and industry associations to adopt both chemical and organic fertilizers to boost the agricultural output."
The ministerial address was followed by series of awards including the International Zinc Association (IZA)-FAI award on promoting the use of Zinc in Agriculture to Dr. Vijay Pooniya, Division of Agronomy, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi. Other award winners include Dr. Debarup Das, Division of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, ICAR-IARI, Pusa Campus, New Delhi (FAI Golden Jublie Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research in Fertilizer Usage); Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd. (Best Technical Innovation Award); Rashtriya Chemical & Fertilizer Ltd. and National Fertilizer Ltd, Vijaipur (Award for Excellence in Safety) amongst others.
Commenting on the award, Dr. Soumitra Das, Director, South Asia - Zinc Nutrient Initiative, International Zinc Association (IZA) said, "Zinc has emerged as the most widespread micronutrient deficiency in soils and crops worldwide, resulting in severe yield losses and deterioration in nutritional quality. We have seen a remarkable increase of about 200% growth in the consumption of zinc in fertilizers in India in the last 7-8 years, owing to joint efforts by IZA, FAI, academia, and the government. With changes in policy measures and increased awareness, we can make headwinds in popularizing micronutrients in balanced fertilizer use across sectors."
FAI Annual Seminar is an important international event that provides a unique opportunity to bring knowledge, information, and opinions to a single platform. Delegates from India and abroad interact with the leaders of the fertilizer industry, decision-makers in the Government and other stakeholders. It also provides a forum for all those associated with fertilizer and agriculture sectors to enhance their professional capabilities and further their business interests. The FAI annual seminar's theme this year is 'New Approach to Fertilizer Sector'. The event will explore the possibilities of bringing major changes in the policies related to fertilizer subsidy, controls on the industry and quality regulations.
About Fertiliser Association of India (FAI)
The Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) is a non-profit and non-trading organization representing mainly; the fertilizer manufacturers, distributors, importers, equipment manufacturers, research institutes and suppliers of inputs. The Association was established in 1955 with the objective of bringing together all concerned with the production, marketing and use of fertilizers with a view to: Assist the industry in improving its operational efficiency; Find solutions to the problems faced by the fertilizer industry and agriculture; Promote balanced and efficient use of fertilizers; Encourage use of more and better plant foods and Promote consideration and discussion of all issues that contribute to sound agricultural practices. FAI is represented on important government Committees/Panels related to fertilizer and agriculture. The Association cooperates actively with the Government of India on all issues related to fertilizer sector and acts as an interface between the Industry and the Government by maintaining close contacts and rapport. The Indian fertilizer industry is highly complex and technology-driven consisting of plants with varying capacity, technology, vintage and product range. With nearly 1000 members comprising Active, Associate, Overseas Associate and Technical and Professional Members, FAI provides the necessary support for meeting the challenges facing the industry.
About International Zinc Association
The International Zinc Association (IZA) was created in 1991 by a group of leading zinc & steel producers to represent the zinc industry globally. IZA's activities are to sustainably grow markets and maintain the industry's license to operate through effectively managed initiatives in research and development, technology transfer, and communication of the value of zinc. Operating internationally and locally through its regional affiliates, IZA helps sustain the long-term global demand for zinc and its markets by promoting such key end uses as corrosion protection for steel and the essentiality of zinc in human health and crop nutrition.
IZA's main programs are Sustainability & Environment, Technology & Market Development and Communications. Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina (USA), IZA also operates regionally through their offices in China, Europe, Latin America, North America, India and Southern Africa.