Balanced fertilization for increased food productivity: Paswan

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New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) Calling for a sustainable and integrated approach towards usage of fertilizers, agricultural productivity and soil conservation, the Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ram Vilas Paswan today said balanced fertilization with increased consumption of secondary and micro nutrients is critical for optimum food production.

Addressing the third meeting of Fertilizer Advisory Forum here, the Minister said, balanced fertilization with increased consumption of secondary and micro nutrients is critical for optimum food production. The Minister advocated a balanced and judicious use of fertilizers. He also informed 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.

Talking of decline in productivity response to fertilizers, Mr Paswan highlighted lack of awareness about the soil health in the absence of soil analysis and comparative high usage of straight fertilizers due to subsidized rates as some of the factors responsible for it, according to an official statement.

The Minister emphasized the need of a mission approach to tackle the issue. He 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. Consequent to this, 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, he said.

Mr Paswan also 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.

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