New Delhi: May be it will be the first occasion in history when fertilizer prices will go exorbitantly up after the presentation of union budget in the Parliament. Price will be increased to such a level that farmers will be unable to spread fertilizers on the farms and with that production will be hampered to a great extent. The government’s move will increase the woes of farmers in the country. The government has already done significant subsidy cut on fertilizers ahead of the Budget. It will increase prices of all kinds of fertilizers.

Before the Union Budget, the Prime Minister had expressed his concerns over unbalanced usage of fertilizers affecting land fertility. He emphasized on the need to maintain soil quality. But this has not been taken care of with any announcements regarding this in the Budget.

To improve the state of the agricultural land which is affected by uncontrolled usage of fertilizers, experiments for production of micro-nutrient fertilizers was initiated in 2010. Phosphorus and potash based 22 types of mixed fertilizers were made control free. As a result of that fertilizer prices were doubled. Price rise has now handicapped small farmers to use these fertilizers. This is the reason behind not accounting significant jump in the consumption of urea despite meager cut in the prices. This has sabotaged government’s effort to expedite balanced usage. Despite government’s efforts, diammonium phosphate and urea are still favourites among farmers.

Import of fertilizers remains only avenue to meet the fertilizers demand in the country. With surge in the fertilizer prices in international markets, fertilizers are going beyong the reach of farmers in domestic markets. Amidst such scenario, not a single fertilizer factory has been established in the last decade.

(JPN/Bureau)