8.36          ndian   onom
                was driven by indigenously developed             (i) Excessive dependence on urea owing
                High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of                    to low/distorted prices of fertilisers,
                seeds for paddy and wheat. Inadequate                especially urea and regional imbalance in
                research and genetic engineering has been            the use,
                a constraint in the development of seeds        (ii) Neglect/low use of compost, manure and
                and seed technologies in major crops                 other forms of natural nutrient providers,
                during the past few decades in India.         (iii) Discontinuing practices of inter and
                There is need to encourage development               rotational cropping.
                of seed technologies in both private and       (iv) Diversion of the subsidised fertilisers to
                public sectors to initiate another round             non-agricultural use.
                of Green Revolution. This development
                                                                (v) Indiscriminate use of fertilisers has not
                should cover all agricultural segments.
                                                                     proportionally improved the yield of
         (iv) GM crops and seeds: Concerns about its                 crops, but has resulted in the depletion of
                affordability, environmental and ethical             soil fertility and salination of soil in many
                issues, risks to the food chain, disease             areas.
                spread and cross pollination have resulted       There is need to rationalise fertiliser subsidy
                in their non-introduction.                 in an input, crop and region neutral format and
                                                           minimise diversions. The disbursal of subsidy on
        FertIlIsers                                        fertilisers should shift to DBT (the GoI has already
     In improving agricultural output, fertiliser is a     started the process as announced in the Union
     critical and expensive input. Since the Green         Budget 2016–17), the benefits of which will be
     Revolution (mid-1960s), there has been a sharp        maximised, if all controls (including imports)
     increase in the use of fertilizers in India. To       on the fertiliser industry/outputs are lifted,
     facilitate and promote the use of fertilizers, the    simultaneously. In the case of P (phosphate) and
                                                           K (potash) fertilizer subsidy, with the Nutrient
     Government has been providing fertilizer subsidy
                                                           Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme, a fixed amount of
     to farmers. Today, the fertiliser subsidies stand at
                                                           subsidy will be given on each grade based on their
     around 10 per cent of the total agricultural GDP.44
                                                           content. Certain improvements in fertilisation
          However, the use of fertilisers has not          needed in the Indian farm sector may be summed
     resulted in commensurate growth in agricultural       up as follows:
     productivity. The declining response ratio or
                                                                 (i) Crop-responsive & balanced use of fertilisers:
     marginal productivity of fertilisers since the
                                                                     There is need to facilitate the optimal use
     1970s is a pointer to their inefficient use in Indian
                                                                     of fertilisers depending on the soil health
     agriculture. The yield of grain per kilogram use
                                                                     and fertility status. Linking the soil health
     of NPK fertilizer has declined from 13.4 kg grain
                                                                     card to provide profile of the soil and
     per ha in 1970 to 3.7 kg grain per ha in irrigated              fertilizer on the basis of the same profile
     areas by 2005.                                                  utilizing fertilizer, (even if not subsidised)
          In the post Green Revolution agriculture                   can improve the yield of crops.
     scenario, there have been imbalances in the use            (ii) Micro nutrients & organic fertilisers: Indian
     of fertilizers such as –                                        soils show deficiency of micro nutrients
       44.   Ministry of Finance, Economic Survey 2015–16,           (like boron, zinc, copper and iron) in
             p. 107.                                                 most parts of the country which limiting