India has become the second-highest producer and consumer of chemical fertilisers in the world. Per hectare chemical fertiliser consumption has been increasing over the years, including in the last two decades.
- The country’s soil health is poor: The soil sample test results showed severe and widespread deficiency of organic carbon, macronutrients and micronutrients in Indian soils.
- Bio-fertilizers are inexpensive, renewable, and environmentally friendly, and they have a lot of potential to replenish plant nutrients if used correctly.
- They are not, however, a replacement for chemical fertilisers. They increase the soil’s health. Its initial impacts are not obvious since it distributes nutrients to soil in a modest and consistent manner.
- Renewable inputs (fertiliser, herbicides, water, etc.) that benefit the plant while causing no or little environmental damage are vital for a sustainable agriculture system.
- Exploiting the capacity of specific microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi to fix atmospheric nitrogen, solubilize phosphorus, breakdown organic waste, or oxidise sulphur in the soil is one of the most energy efficient and pollution-free methods.
- They boost crop growth and production, improve soil fertility, and minimise pollution when applied to the soil.
- The usage of bio fertilisers is crucial to preserve soil health, as the increased use of chemical fertilisers destroys all of the microorganisms in the soil that are so important for soil health.
- The use of bio fertilisers in addition to conventional fertilisers can assist preserve soil fertility over time.
- There is a lack of data on companies, their registered products, authorisations given and production details of various types of manufacturers related to biofertilisers and organic fertilisers sector. State governments may have kept the records, but compiled countrywide information is lacking.
- Because of a lack of understanding and a sluggish impact on soil production, sales of bio fertilisers have slowed in the country.
- In the case of organic fertilisers, huge irregularities or discrepancies are observed in available data.
- The utilisation of production capacity remained low for the sector. This is linked to limited demand, which in turn is related to poor quality of products as well as limited government support for promotion of non-chemical fertilisers. A level-playing field is missing for manufactures of biofertilisers and organic fertilisers, as well as for farmers willing to use non-chemical fertiliser options.
- There is a widespread availability of inferior quality as well as spurious biofertiliser and organic fertiliser products across the country.
- Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD)
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
- An integrated approach to soil nutrient management, as well as other complimentary measures, must be included in the overall plan for boosting crop yields and maintaining them at a high level.
- An integrated approach acknowledges that soils are the repository for the majority of plant nutrients required for development, and that how nutrients are managed has a significant influence on plant growth, soil fertility, and agricultural sustainability.
- Rather of distributing fertiliser over the field, India should focus on enhancing fertiliser efficiency through need-based application.
- IFFCO’s recently developed Nano urea shows promise in terms of lowering urea consumption. Following testing, such products must be pushed quickly.
- These measures will help boost agricultural output, mitigate climate change, provide an alternative to chemical fertilisers, and balance the economic impact of fertiliser subsidies on Union budgets in the years ahead.
How to structure:
- Give an intro about the use of fertilizers in India
- Mention the need for organic and bio fertilizers
- Discuss measures for its promotion
- Mention challenges faced
- Way forward