In order to disseminate knowledge to farmers on optimum usage of fertiliser nutrients based on various parameters to sustain agricultural productivity and to make farmers aware of new developments in the field of fertiliser usage and management, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar along with Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda jointly inaugurated the bi-annual Fertilizer Application Awareness Program at Pusa campus in New Delhi Tuesday. The event is organised jointly by both the ministries before Kharif and Rabi season each year in association with state governments.
Addressing the farmers during the programme, Tomar said, today is a historic day for thousands of farmers present at Pusa and at the 714 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) across the country who are watching the event live on a topic that is very pertinent and touches the lives of all citizens.
He said the farmers of India should be strong and prosperous and the land resources should be used in a sustainable manner to ensure its usage for the future generations. Tomar further said that currently agriculture contributes 14 percent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) but it has a lot of potential and should be increased. He said that 50 percent of entire population is dependent on agriculture for sustenance but all people are depending on it for its food needs and therefore production, productivity and sustainability needs to be further improved. He emphasised that soil needs a balanced diet of fertilisers, micronutrients and chemicals and too much of any can spoil the land and therefore it needs to be used optimally.
Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda in his address said, agriculture remains the mainstay for livelihood of rural India and fertilisers are the most vital inputs for agriculture to meet the food production requirement for the country. Gowda emphasised on proper conservation of soil as it is important for achieving the goal of food, nutrition, environmental and livelihood security. He urged for prompt conservation and management of soil to improve its sustainability.
The minister mentioned about the various urea and nutrient based subsidies that are being offered by the government on the phosphatic and potassic fertilisers. He also stated that with an aim to overcome the deficiency of micronutrients like zinc and boron, an additional subsidy is being given on the fertilisers coated with these micronutrients. Gowda urged various departments along with ICAR institutes and agricultural universities to contribute towards increasing and maintaining agricultural productivity.
Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare applauded the initiative for providing a platform for farmers to increase their awareness about the right use of fertilisers. The minister urged to dub/translate various agriculture-centric documentaries and films in the local and regional languages for the benefit of farmers across the nation. He said that this initiative would help the farmers more effectively.
There are many issues concerning Indian agriculture, which bears a direct relationship with the usage of fertilisers. Some of the issues with regard to usage of fertilisers which were discussed during the technical session are imbalance in usage of major plant nutrients such as N, P & K; Non-awareness of usage and deficiency of nutrients other than N-P-K required by soil (micronutrients); Declining response ratio of the soil to the fertiliser application (Inefficiency of fertilisers); Agronomical importance of low analysis fertilisers like Single Super Phosphate (SSP); Development of new type of fertilisers like liquid fertilisers, special compounds, bio-fertilisers, slow-release fertilisers etc.; Climatic zones, soil types, quantity and method of fertilisers usage and suitability for crops; Long-term sustainability of agriculture; and Use of Soil health cards to get right amount and right type of fertilisers for each crop.