1. Agriculture World

Awareness Programme for Farmers on Judicious Use of Fertilizers at ICAR

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Imbalanced  and Excessive use of Fertilizers for increased productivity has created a lot of issues which at present has resulted in deteriorated  soil health, health hazard, environmental pollution and insecurity of quality food. Only 35-40 percent of urea applied is made available by plants and the rest gets leached into the ground water, or irrigation sources nearby. At present if we look at the consumption pattern of Urea, India uses 310 lakh tones of urea for agriculture of which 70 lakh tones come from import after paying huge amount of foreign exchange hence, in the coming years with the target of food production increased to 321 MT, the  demand of urea will be much higher than the availability and this will lead to hike in the fertilizer prices. With respect to this the non-chemical sources also needs to be analysed to maintain the soil fertility without allowing further degradation. 

Improper and unmindful use of urea should be curtailed drastically, or otherwise it leads to an oxidation- reduction processes occurring in the soil due to poor activity of beneficial bacteria and other micro-organisms. There would be no plant nutrients and minerals that would be available to the plants From talking to farmers we understand that there is excessive use of urea and DAP into the soil, without understanding its harmful effects. This is ultimately leading to over exploitation of our soil, leaching of fertilizers into the soil as well as deficiencies caused by micronutrients, increasing incidence of pests and diseases. These are all becoming a big struggle for the environment. Ultimately all these leads to Global Warming. Ensuring judicious use of Urea in agriculture is the need at the moment .Neem coated Urea, water dissolvable mixed fertilizer,  use of value added Nitrogen fertilizers, addition of crop residue and Bio-fertilizers could play an important role in this regard.  


Food security, Good health and Clean food all goes hand in hand. There is nothing that we can compromise for one. But how do we achieve all these things at one go is one which we have been in search of. Good practices , balanced and judicious use of fertilizers all have to be looked into. Are our farmers, who are the essential back bone of our country, aware of these consequences or are they trying to bring about a change in their practices. Still we have no idea how many our farmer friends know about soil cards, integrated nutrient management and good practices ,safety measures they need to take up for themselves for their health while spraying pesticides. Santosh a farmer from Rohtak told us about his ignorance in soil cards, nor he does gets his soil tested. The previous floods posed a great problems for them, as their standing wheat crop had got spoiled. They apply fertilizers as and when needed. They are not even aware of the micro nutrients that needs to be applied specific to each crop. When are these issues going to sorted out ?When are we going to extensively create awareness keeping in mind the health of our citizens. 

Analysing all the above issues in mind ,The Government and ICAR came together to awake farmers on the judicious use of fertilizers. This is a Bi-annual Fertilizer Application Awareness Program at ICAR campus ,Pusa in New Delhi. The event was jointly organized by Ministries each year the help of State Governments. Thousands of farmers had assembled in the New Hall at ICAR campus to listen to the awareness schedules and safe and judicious usage of fertilizers. There was a movie of 15 minutes which detailed out on the  different kinds of chemicals and organic fertilizers and it emphasized on a combined usage of all fertilizers, so as to minimize the effect of the chemicals which are being applied to the soil. Speaking at the occasion Our honourable Union Minister Mr. Tomar also graced the occasion and spoke to the farmers. He also told that this occasion is great as it is telecast live to 714 KVKS in our country. Our honourable Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Purushottam Rupala reiterated on the fact about the requirement at the moment to be a judicious combination of organic manures and fertilizers, and not exclusive use of either. Present at the occasion were The Union Chemical & Fertilizer Minister, Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda. He also motivated the farmers by his speech and spoke on Conservation agriculture and  proper management of soil through judicious use of fertiizers to improve its sustainability.  These techniques need more popularization among farmers so that better environment and agriculture could be more beneficial by use of conservation.  

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