Low awareness of fertilizer subsidy: A challenge to subsidy reforms
The government has been considering a policy shift to transfer the fertilizer subsidy amount to the bank accounts of farmers rather than fertilizer companies. In our pan-India study with farmers we found that only one-third of the farmers knew that they purchase fertilizers at a subsidized rate. With such low awareness levels, this policy shift may evoke shock and displeasure since this would require farmers to first purchase fertilizers at the market price.
Enablers For Direct Benefit Transfers Of Fertiliser Subsidy
Over the past few years, there was a continuous effort by the government to streamline the in-kind distribution of fertiliser. Targeting fertiliser subsidies directly to farmers would be a herculean task, but can be attempted by combining several initiatives that the central government and some state governments have undertaken over the past years. This note discusses potential solutions to improve in-kind transfers and suggests few ideas for cash transfer pilots for fertiliser subsidy.