Distribution of point-of-sale (POS) devices to private and cooperative fertilizer retailers has begun in the district, paving the way for implementation of direct benefit transfer (DBT) system for disbursement of subsidy on fertilizers to farmers.
A dry run of the system will be held ahead of the full implementation of the system, planned from January 1. Under this system, the subsidy will be released to fertilizer companies instead of the beneficiaries so that farmers can continue to buy fertilizers at subsidised rates. This way, farmers would not have to pay the maximum retail price upfront as the subsidy component is high.
Collector K. Rajamani launched the distribution of POS machines on Saturday at a function held at the office of the Joint Director of Agriculture here. He said once the devices become operational, all fertilizer sales would be done through POS devices only. Farmers should produce Aadhaar card and affix their fingerprints on the POS device. All fertilizer sale, even if it is a single kilogram, should be sold only through the POS device.
Joint Director of Agriculture Uduman Mohideen said that the POS devices would be given to 321 private retailers and 147 cooperative retailers. Sufficient fertilizer and seeds for the ‘kuruvai’ season had been stocked in the district, he said.
A. Shankar, Deputy Director of Agriculture (Fertilizers), Chennai, said that the distribution of POS machines would be completed in all the districts by July 31. After a brief dry run, the machines would go live and linked to the central server. After this, it would be possible to track movement of fertilizers from the plants or ports till it reached the farmer. The system would ensure that subsidy was released to the manufacturers after the completion of sale.
P. Arun, State DBT Coordinator, said the system hady been implemented as a pilot scheme in 17 districts in the country. So far, fertilizer companies were paid the subsidy on receipt of their fertilizer at the railhead point or any approved godown. The transaction and buyer details would be captured in the POS machine installed at the retailer’s end and connected with a central server.
The system could track actual purchases by the final buyer and ensure judicious usage of fertilizers by farmers. It would ensure that fertilizers were not diverted for non-agricultural purposes.
K. Sivasankaran, Zonal Manager, Coromandel International, which supplied the machines as per the Centre’s guidelines, R. Ravi, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Quality Control, spoke.