Economic Survey recommends promoting use of alternative fertilizers
The recent Economic Survey has recommended promote the use of alternative fertilizers.
The Economic Survey has recommended the use of alternative fertilizers like nano urea along with organic fertilizers. Alternative fertilizers protect the soil, produce higher yields and also promote more efficient use of nutrients.
Other recommendations of the survey:
- Must use new technologies, including drones and artificial intelligence-based decision support systems.
- The use of chemical fertilizers should be reduced. Also, special emphasis should be given to natural methods of farming.
- Low cost organic inputs should be used.
- Startups should be supported for innovations in the agriculture sector.
The government is providing fertilizers at subsidized prices to the farmers through fertilizer manufacturers/importers. Urea is being made available at the statutory notified Maximum Retail Price (MRP). In contrast, a nutrient based subsidy scheme has been implemented for Phosphatic and Potash (P-K) fertilizers. Fertilizer subsidy of Rs 85,300 crore has been given till December 2021.
Problems associated with overuse of fertilizers:
- Excessive subsidy burden, as India spends around Rs 1 lakh crore on fertilizer subsidies.
- Multi-nutrient deficiencies and declining soil health are also a problem.
- Ground water is prone to nitrate contamination.
Measures taken by the Government to make the subsidy regime more efficient:
- New Urea Policy 2015 has been implemented.
- ‘Neem Coated Urea’ is being produced.
- Latest technologies like coal gasification are being promoted.
- ‘Direct Benefit Transfer’ has been implemented.
Source – The Hindu