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Balanced Fertilization

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

 Context: The next government is expected to prioritize ‘balanced fertilization’, aiming to discourage excessive use of urea, DAP, and MOP in agriculture.

 

What is Balanced Fertilization? 

Balanced fertilization involves providing crops with the right proportion of primary (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), secondary (sulphur, calcium, magnesium), and micronutrients (iron, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, molybdenum) based on soil type and crop requirements. The goal is to optimize plant growth and yield while minimizing environmental impact and nutrient imbalances.

The Nutrient-Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme, launched by the government, aimed to promote balanced fertilization by fixing subsidies for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur. However, its exclusion of urea led to its failure, as urea consumption continued to rise steadily despite the scheme’s implementation.

Other Steps to promote balanced fertilization include rationalizing DAP and MOP prices, potentially bringing urea under the Nutrient-Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme, restricting fertilizer usage to specific crops, and marketing fertilizers in granular form to prevent adulteration and ensure slower nutrient release.