ri  lt re and ood       ana ement      8.37
              crop yields and productivity. Fertilisers
              which supplement micro nutrients can
              provide an additional yield in cereals in    Due to the presence of weeds, pests, diseases and
              the range of 0.3 to 0.6 ton per hectare.45   rodents, the crop yield losses range from 15 to
              This deficiency can be overcome if           25 per cent in India. Even though pesticides are
              there by expansion in the use of organic     essential for improving crop yields, per hectare
              fertiliser. Besides, being cheaper to use    pesticide use is much lower in India in comparison
              organic composting and manure it can         with other countries. Presently, India uses a low
              help improve and retain soil fertility,      amount of 0.5 kg per ha pesticide compared to
              too., There is great scope for enhancing     7.0 kg per ha in the USA, 2.5 kg per ha in Europe,
              the use of organic fertilisers as around 67  12 kg per ha in Japan and 6.6 kg per ha in Korea.
              per cent of Indian soil is characterised by  Besides, there are certain concerns regarding
              low organic carbon.                          pesticides use in the country –
       (iii) Nutrient Management: To maintain                    (i) Use of pesticides without following
              soil health and productivity, judicious                proper guidelines,
              use of chemical fertilisers, bio-fertilisers      (ii) Use of sub standard pesticides, and
              and locally available organic manures            (iii) Lack of awareness about pesticide use.
              like farmyard manure, compost, vermi-              These practices have given rise to pesticide
              compost and green manure based on soil       residues being found in food products in India,
              testing is necessary.                        posing major threats to the environment and
              With over 12 crore farm holdings in          human beings. Some policy steps which may be
              India, it is a big challenge to provide      suggested in this regard are:
              soil-testing facilities for overcoming the         (i) Farmers need to be educated about the
              multi-nutrient deficiencies in soils so as             classification of insecticides on the basis
              to improve agricultural output. Use of                 of their toxicity and their suitability for
              information technology and providing                   aerial application.
              soil fertility maps to farmers can go a long      (ii) The CIBRC (Central Insecticide Board
              way in efficient nutrient management.                  and Registration Committee) has
       (iv) Regional disparity in fertilizer consumption:            issued guidelines for the application
              India has wide regional disparities in the             of pesticides, their dosage, minimum
              consumption of fertilizers. This may be                intervals to be maintained, and the levels
              attributed to the availability of irrigation           of toxicity. This information needs to be
              facilities in the high consuming states                widely disseminated among farmers.
              (since irrigation is a requirement for           (iii) Greater focus on IPM (Integrated Pest
              proper absorption of fertilizers). It                  Management) which will encompass a
              is necessary to reduce the disparities                 judicious mix of pest control methods
              through appropriate soil-testing facilities            by leveraging the cultural, mechanical,
              and other policy measures.                             biological methods and need-based use of
                                                                     chemical pesticides. It gives preference to
      45.   As per the conducted by the Indian Council of
            Agricultural Research (ICAR) – quoted by the             the use of bio-pesticides and bio-control
            Economic Survey 2015-16, Vol. 2, p.108.                  agents, too.