Integrated nutrient management a key to productivity
By Dr Mangala Rai
Fertilizer is the mainstay of food production in the country; hence its judicious use is the need of the hour. The integrated nutrient management is a panacea for sound soil health, higher farm productivity and profitability.
Accordingly, our Government has taken historical decisions on nutrient-based pricing and subsidy, meeting additional cost of fortification/ coating of fertilizers, payment of freight subsidy for all fertilizers on actual basis and revival of single super phosphate industry. Simultaneously, to ensure adequate supply of fertilizers, the fertilizer industry needs to be cajoled from the continued stagnation due to low level of investment.
To reduce dependence on import of fertilizers, the indigenously available nutrient sources like low grade rock phosphate, waste mica and phosphogypsum need to be promoted as a source of phosphorus, potassium and sulphur, respectively. At the same time, there should be adequate provision for setting up of compost and bio-fertilizer units in rural and urban areas. The soil testing service requires to be strengthened for precise and efficient fertilizer use.