India chemical fertilizer consumption increased by 16%

16-04-2021    09:25   |    Ag News

INDIA- Data shared by the government recently indicates that the consumption of chemical fertilizers has increased by around 16% between 2015-16 & 2020-21. From about 510 LMT in 2015-16, the consumption increased to 590 LMT as per provisional figures for 2020-21. Even the consumption of chemical pesticides has increased during this period.

Recently, fertilizer manufacturers in India including the Indian Farmers Fertilizers Cooperative Ltd. (IFFCO) announced a steep hike in the price of agricultural inputs such as di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) as a result of increased prices of raw materials in the international market. 

In the past few months, the prices of potash, DAP, phosphoric acid, etc. have also increased significantly forcing the fertilizer makers to hike the prices of the de-controlled nutrients. However, the Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilisers, Mansukh Mandaviya announced that the manufacturers have been asked not to increase the prices of all fertilizers. IFFCO has also clarified that there is enough material with old rates which will be sold at the old rates to farmers. Further, IFFCO has stated that the new prices are only tentative and yet to be finalized by companies. 

Multiple factors determine fertilizer usage 

Consumption of fertilizers and pesticides is determined by multiple factors such as area of land under cultivation, the type of crop, cropping pattern and cropping intensity, soil type and its condition, agro-climatic conditions, the ability of farmers to purchase, irrigation, and others. The Department of Agriculture & Co-operation and farmers Welfare also carries out assessments to determine the requirement of chemical fertilizers- Urea (Nitrogen), DAP, MOP (Muriate of Potash), and NPKs (contains major nutrients- Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) on a season-to-season basis, taking into consideration the above-mentioned factors and finalizes the requirement of for each season in consultation with the states. Bi-annual zonal conferences are held before the beginning of each cropping season i.e., Kharif (April to September) and Rabi (October to March). The allocation of fertilizers to states is an outcome of this process. 

Urea is the most consumed fertilizer 

On average, India consumed about 500 LMT of fertilizer per year in the last 10 years. The government recently provided year-wise consumption data in the Rajya Sabha, showing the trend in the quantity of chemical fertilizers used in India since 2015-16. As per the data shared, Urea is the most consumed fertilizer with around 300 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) being consumed each year, accounting for 55 to 60% of the chemical fertilizer consumption in the country. Between 2016-17 and 2019-20, there has been a steady increase in the consumption of Urea, DAP, and NPKs. The data for 2020-21 is provisional and is available up to February 2021. 

Even though the data is only up to February 2021, the consumption of DAP and NPKs is already the highest in 2020-21 in the six-year period from 2015-16 to 2020-21. The final quantity of urea consumed in 2020-21 might also cross the 2019-20 levels making the consumption highest in 2020-21. 

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Photo by Jewel Mahmud on Unsplash

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