Promoting Balanced and Judicious Use of Fertilisers for Improving Soil Health

The Government of India is implementing National Project on Management of Soil Health & Fertility to promote soil test based balanced and judicious use of fertilizers for improving soil health and its fertility through setting up / strengthening soil testing laboratories, trainings and field demonstrations on balanced use of fertilizers. However, there is no scientific evidence of declining soil quality with judicious use of chemical fertilizers yet indiscriminate and imbalance use of fertilizers or pesticides coupled with low addition of organic matter over years may result into multi-nutrient deficiencies.

In order to promote organic / ecological farming, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed technology preparation of enriched / vermin-compost from various rural and urban wastes. Besides, improved and efficient strains of bio-fertilizers specific to different crops and soil types are being developed under Network project on biofertilizers. The ICAR also imparts training, organizes Front Line Demonstrations etc. to educate farmers on these aspects. The ICAR, is also implementing a Network Project on Organic Farming with 13 co-operating centres, spread over 12 States.

Apart from this, M/s. Greenpeace India launched ‘Living Soils Campaign’ nationwide to bring out grass root level realities concerning soil health and soil fertility management policies of the Central Government to save soils from the harmful impacts of chemical fertilizers. Greenpeace has been making the following suggestions:-

i) Create an alternate subsidy system that promotes ecological farming and use of organic soil amendments.

ii) Shift the irrational subsidy policy for synthetic fertilizers to sustainable ecological practices in agriculture.

iii) Re-focus scientific research on ecological alternatives, to identify agro-ecological practices that ensure future food security under the changing climate.

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