India in need of legal regulations
India is experiencing a period of fast-paced economic and demographic development. The country is an important producer and consumer of fertilizers. That is why there is a burning need of introducing appropriate legal regulations, which would make it possible to improve the efficiency of domestic farms.
The population of the country exceeds 1.2 billion people. In is therefore not surprising that India is the third largest manufacturer of artificial fertilizers in the world (with China and the USA ahead in the ranking). In India, there are 29 producers of urea, 21 companies manufacturing ammonium phosphate, and 5 manufacturers of nitrogen-based fertilizers. Additionally, 80 companies produce superphosphates.
Balance is required
In order to provide a safe and sufficient food supply for the Indian society, it is necessary to make fertilizers accessible and affordable for the average farmer. For this reason, the prices of urea, which is one of the most popular fertilizers, are controlled by the authorities. The market intervention is done by subsidizing the urea manufacturers. However, the producers of other kinds of fertilizers are not subsidized. Understandably, the disadvantaged companies protest about such situation. At the same time, urea is over-used by the farmers, and too little attention is paid to the necessity of diversifying the choice of fertilizers, depending on the actual demand for nutrients in plants.
Changes are needed
The Indian government has therefore launched the Cohesive Fertilizer Policy. The changes will aim at regulating the subsidies and diversifying the application of various products by the farmers. The issue is becoming a burning problem, seeing that the demand for food in the country is growing at a fast speed. In the long-term perspective, the use of a single kind of fertilizer, the one which is sold at the best price, might lead to the degradation of soil on vast areas of Indian farmland.