Advocating the product for farmers to reduce crop damage, Union Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilisers Hansraj Ahir on Saturday said that the use of neem-coated urea will help reduce agricultural losses as it is good for soil health.

Presently, neem-coated urea supply is between 45 and 75 percent and the government wants to ensure cent percent supply by next year, the Minister told reporters here.
    
Production of neem-coated urea is expected to increase in the country as the government in January allowed fertiliser firms to manufacture this product at full capacity.
    
Earlier, production of neem-coated urea was allowed only up to 35 percent of the total capacity of the plant. At present, India is dependent on urea imports as domestic output is 22 million tonnes as against the demand of 31 million tonnes. Urea is being sold at subsidised rate of Rs 5,600 per tonne, while its cost is around Rs 20,000 per tonne.

Meanwhile, Ahir said 3,000 generic medicine shops are being opened and these medicines will be available at all government hospitals and Primary Health Centre (PHCs). Essential medicines will be available at cheaper rates, he added.

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