Monday, May 10, 2010



India eased controls on several fertilisers and raised prices of the popular

urea nutrient by 10 percent. The decision is expected to help improve

India's fertiliser mix, which is heavily skewed in favour of urea, that

attracts the biggest subsidies.

Here are some key facts about India's fertiliser sector :

• India has so far imposed tight controls on fertiliser prices, to help


• India's fertiliser subsidy bill in 2008/09 amounted to 758.49 billion

rupees ($16.4 billion).

• Small and marginal farmers account for 82 percent of rural land

holders, making fertiliser subsidy a sensitive political issue.

• There has been no significant investment to raise fertiliser capacity

in India in the last 10 years because of tight government controls

and policy uncertainty.

• In 2008/09 India imported 21 percent of the urea it used, 67 percent of

diammonium phosphate (DAP), and 100 percent of muriate of potash (MOP).

• Nitrogenbased urea accounts for more than half of India's fertiliser consumption

because of heavy government subsidy on this nutrient

• Phosphate fertilisers account for a fifth of Indian demand, while

potash accounts for 8 percent.

• Excessive use of certain fertilisers and inadequate use of other

nutrients has reduced India's fertiliser response ratio, which

indicates how much a crop gains by using one kg of fertiliser.

• The ratio has fallen from 13.4 kg in 1970 to 3.7 kg in recent years,

indicating diminishing returns from fertiliser use.

• A government research body found that most soil samples in India

were deficient in many nutrients.

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