The Locally Produced Fertiliser Subsidy Scheme (LPFS) was officially launched by the Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, yesterday, at the Small Farmers Welfare Fund (SFWF), in Goodlands. The Parliamentary Private Secretary, Dr Anjiv Ramdhany, the Chairman of the SFWF, Mr Ashok Bundhoo, and other personalities were present.
On the occasion, registered planters were handed over LPFS Vouchers and five registered planters received Knapsack sprayers following a drawing lot.
Government approved the introduction of the LPFS in the National Budget 2022/23 to provide support to small registered planters. It comprises a subsidy of 75% on the cost of locally produced fertilisers. The LPFS will be operated by the SFWF and will be extended to registered food crop, flower and tea planters for open fields and sheltered farming.
In his address at the launching event, Minister Gobin stated that following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, the prices of fertilisers have substantially increased, hence resulting in high cost of production for planters.
The introduction of the LPFS, he pointed out, will assist planters to use and adopt locally produced fertilisers as well as reduce dependency on imported fertilisers. Minister Gobin encouraged planters to make optimum use of the local fertiliser which he underlined is cheaper and of better quality.
The Scheme will also promote the establishment and consolidation of a local industry for the manufacture of fertilisers from locally available materials in line with the circular economy, thus promoting national food security, he said.
Minister Gobin urged planters to register themselves at the SPWF to benefit from the various schemes as well as to receive compensation in the advent of bad weather.
The SFWF is operating several fertiliser subsidy schemes, namely: the Fertiliser Subsidy Scheme, the Bio Farming Support Scheme and the Tea Sector Support Scheme. All these Schemes together with the LPFS will be operated under a Fertiliser Subsidy Programme to rationalise the operations of the different fertiliser subsidy schemes, and ensure judicious use of the given fertilisers by planters as well as the funding provided for the financing of the different schemes.