In talks with a Russian company for setting up a fertiliser unit there

The world's largest farmers cooperative, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-Operative Limited (IFFCO), on Monday said it was negotiating with two global players for setting up an integrated dairy in its upcoming food processing special economic zone (SEZ) in Nellore.

Besides, IFFCO is in talks with a Russian company for setting up a fertiliser plant there, Managing Director U. S. Awasthi said.

“We are negotiating with a firm in the U.S. and New Zealand for setting up an integrated dairy in our farm-based food processing SEZ in Nellore,” Mr. Awasthi told reporters here.

The proposed dairy envisaged an investment of Rs. 1,000 crore, he said, adding that “We expect to sign the deal before end-December.”

Besides equity partner, the overseas firm would be a management partner in the venture, he said, adding that “marketing will be done by IFFCO.”

The venture would have around 6,000 livestock, which would be imported to begin with “however, later we will develop a local cross-breed,” Mr. Awasthi said.

On hike in fertiliser prices, Mr. Awasthi said there was a 5-10 per cent increase but “farmers have not resisted it due to a hike in the support prices of food grains.” He said soil productivity in the country has come down due to the non-optimum ways of utilisation of fertilisers.

“What we need is soil productivity enhancement. We have started a new project, save the soil. Our fertilisers need to be fortified with zinc and boron. We have taken steps to fortify fertilisers produced from our plants with micro nutrients like sulphur, zinc and boron,” he said.

Mr. Awasthi said IFFCO was awaiting the Gazette notification on fortification in this regard.

On the co-operative's proposed power plant in collaboration with the Chhattisgarh Government, he said the state-owned entity was awaiting a few regulatory approvals, which were expected to come shortly.

“Everything is ready. We are only waiting for forest clearance for the coal block. The power plant work may start soon,” he said.

The proposed coal-based power plant with a total capacity of 1,320 MW is coming up in Chhattisgarh at an investment of Rs. 7,300 crore with IFFCO having a 74 per cent stake and the remaining, the Chhattisgarh Government.

Keywords: IFFCOSEZNellore

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