ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Soil Nutrition and Fertiliser Use in Crop Production

Future Policy Imperatives

This paper explores the determinants of fertiliser application in Punjab through an analysis of both secondary data and a primary survey-based case study. Analysis of primary data indicates that the fertiliser policy favouring urea has encouraged its overuse, which is incongruent with the soil nutrient level, and this might be one of the possible contributing factors to the soil nutrient imbalance in the study location.

The field expenses for this paper were supported by the seed money research grant of Dr B R Ambedkar University Delhi.

The authors thank the anonymous referee as well as Vikas Rawal of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, for comments and suggestions on an earlier draft of this paper.

Since India’s independence, Indian policymakers have been concerned about self-sufficiency in foodgrain production. Unequal distribution of resources, land in particular, was considered an impediment in raising productivity and attaining foodgrain self-sufficiency. Although this was sought to be corrected through institutional reforms and legislative mechanisms, such attempts had limited impact. Moreover, multiple wars with neighbouring countries and two consecutive droughts (in 1965–66 and 1966–67) further increased food security concerns in India during the 1960s. Therefore, the mid-1960s onwards, India decided to adopt the new agricultural strategy with the twin aims of finding technological solutions to the problem of low productivity and attaining self-sufficiency in foodgrains instead of relying on institutional measures.

Due to various historical, physical, and institutional factors, the new agricultural strategy, or the green revolution, which is now spread all over the country, was first adopted in the north-western region of India (Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh). During this entire mission, the use of fertilisers played a crucial role, which continues to this day as well.

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Updated On : 19th Dec, 2022
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