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Fertiliser major Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (Iffco) has signed a joint venture pact with the Jordan Phosphates Mines Company (JPMC) for setting up a phosphoric acid plant in Jordan. The JV involves an investment of $570 million at the Eshidiay mines in Jordan.

Iffco officials said that the agreement was signed in Amman in the presence of Jordan prime minister Nader Al Thahabi by JPMC chairman Walid Kurdi and Iffco managing director U S Awasthi.

JPMC will hold 48% equity in the JV while the balance will be held by Iffco. According to the buyback agreement, Iffco will buy phosphoric acid produced from this project which is expected to create job opportunities for over 500 people. JPMC will supply around two million tonnes of rock phosphate to the project annually. Phosphoric acid is a key input in the production of DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) and global prices for inputs and intermediaries such as phosphoric acid have shot up of late, threatening a bigger burden for India, one of the biggest buyers in the world. India’s fertiliser imports have gone up from nil in 2000-01, to 47.19 lakh tonnes for urea and from 8.61 lakh tonnes to 28.75 lakh tonnes for DAP at phenomenal cost to the exchequer.

Prices for DAP apart, that of MoP and urea have also gone up manifold on the back of global short supply.

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