5 Oct :The Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers &Steel, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan has called for a sustainable and integrated approach towards usage of fertilizers, agricultural productivity and soil conservation. Addressing the third meeting of Fertilizer Advisory Forum here today, the minister said, balanced fertilization with increased consumption of secondary and micro nutrients is critical for optimum food production.
Advocating balanced and judicious use of fertilizers, the minister commented that disproportionate use of fertilizers has led to overdose of nitrogen compared with phosphate and potash and deficiency of secondary and micro nutrients in soils throughout the country. This has resulted in declining productivity response to fertilizers. Shri Paswan said, lack of awareness about the soil health in the absence of soil analysis and comparative high usage of straight fertilizers due to subsidized rates are some of the reasons responsible for this situation.
Emphasizing need of a mission approach to tackle the issue, Shri Paswan said, the government has approved “National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility’ for soil testing. From June 2008, the government has rationalized the MRP of complex fertilizers,he said. As a result,complexes essential for soil nutrition are available at reduced rates.The nutrient based pricing, wherein price of nutrients across all subsidized fertilizers is uniform will also promote use of complex fertilizers.
On availability and movement of fertilizers,the minister asked the states to correctly assess their requirements, to strengthen their respective delivery systems and to curb malpractices for the benefit of farmers.
The forum also discussed matters relating to growth in consumption of fertilizers, increase in overall subsidy outgo and its relation with overall agricultural growth, ways for efficient movement and distribution and promotion of liquid fertilizers. Stakeholders from state governments, industry, dealers and consumers participated in deliberations.