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DATA STORY: Fertilisers in India

  • Published
    28th Mar, 2022

Fertilizers are natural or chemical substances supplied to the crops to increase their growth and productivity. Fertilizers enhance the natural fertility of the soil or replace the chemical elements taken from the soil by previous crops. These are used by farmers to increase crop yield. The use of manure and composts as fertilizers is probably almost as old as agriculture. Modern chemical fertilizers contain one or more of the three elements that are important in plant nutrition viz. nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Of secondary importance are the elements sulphur, magnesium and calcium.

Production and movement of fertilizers is comfortable across the country. 2019-20 record high urea production of 244.55 LMT as compared to 240 LMT during 2018-19. While sales/consumption of Urea have reached 336.97 LMT as compared to 320.20 LMT of the previous year i.e. 2018-19.

The Government has launched a National Mission on Soil Health Card to promote soil test based balanced and judicious fertilizer application in the country. Similarly, organic farming is being promoted under Parampragat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER) in the country. Training and demonstrations are organized through ICAR institutions including Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), and agricultural universities to educate farmers on all these aspects.

The fertilizer industry is highly regulated and monitored by the government. The difference between the cost of production, which is higher than the price at which the fertilizer is sold to the beneficiary, is reimbursed by the Government in the form of subsidies. Whenever there is shortage of funds, the Government either announces an additional subsidy amount or liquidates the pending subsidy by arranging loans under a Special Banking Agreement (SBA). While the MRP of urea is fixed and controlled by the Central Government that is not the case with decontrolled fertilizers where the manufacturers have the liberty to price the product freely according to the prevailing market conditions.

This data story aims to highlight fertilizer usage in India.

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