From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Fertilizers
Mains level : Fertilizer subsidies in India
The Department of Fertilisers is ready with an Action Plan to make India Aatmanirbhar in Rock Phosphate, the key raw material of DAP and NPK Fertilizers.
What are Phosphatic Fertilizers?
- Phosphorus is the eleventh most abundant element on the earth. Commercial phosphate fertilizers are manufactured using phosphate rock.
- Approximately two-thirds of the world’s phosphate resources are derived from sedimentary and marine phosphate rock deposits.
- Ground rock phosphate has been used as a source of phosphorous for soils in the past.
- However, due to the low concentration of phosphorous in this native material, high transportation costs, and small crop responses, the usage of rock phosphate has reduced considerably in agriculture.
- On the other hand, the usage of phosphorous based fertilizers has grown significantly.
Which are the most common Ph fertilizers?
- The most commonly used phosphatic fertilizers are Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), Monoammonium Phosphate (MAP), NPKs, and SSP.
- DAP is the world’s most widely used phosphorus fertilizer. It is popular due to its relatively high nutrient content and its excellent physical properties.
- DAP is an excellent source of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) for plant nutrition.
- It provides the correct proportion of phosphorous and nitrogen for the farming of grains such as wheat, barley, fruits, and vegetables.
- NPKs, also called compound fertilizers, are fertilizers that contain all three nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in different proportions.
Why need Phosphorus?
- Phosphorus is an essential nutrient required for plant growth. It helps in root development, plant maturation, and seed development.
- If soils are deficient in phosphorus, food production becomes restricted, unless the nutrient is added in the form of fertilizers.
- Hence, to increase food production, an adequate amount of phosphorus is required.
- Along with nitrogen and potassium, phosphorus is one of the most important elements for plant life.
- Soil gets depleted of phosphorus due to several reasons including being washed away by rain. Therefore, modern farming is reliant on the use of phosphorus-based fertilizers.
Consumption in India
- Rock Phosphate is the key raw material for DAP and NPK fertilisers and India is 90% dependent on imports.
- Volatility in international prices affects the domestic prices of fertilisers and hinders the progress and development of the agriculture sector in the country.
Answer this PYQ in the comment box:
Q.What are the advantages of fertigation in agriculture? (CSP 2020)
1.Controlling the alkalinity of irrigation water is possible.
2. Efficient application of Rock Phosphate and all other phosphatic fertilizers is possible.
3. Increased availability of nutrients to plants is possible.
4. Reduction in the leaching of chemical nutrients is possible.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 1,2 and 4 only
(c) 1,3 and 4 only
(d) 2, 3 and 4 only