ICFA Working Group on Fertilisers
Productivity of agriculture is vastly determined by the soil health and the soil nutrient status. A healthy soil ensures healthy plant stand and yield. Even the quality of yield is determined by the health status of soils. Balanced application of fertilizers is important for better crop productivity and yield. The green revolution period in Indian agriculture saw use of chemical fertilizers which tripled the yields of Indian agriculture. However, the indiscriminate use of fertilizers, over and above the requisite amount has led to an imbalance in the levels of soil nutrients.
The loss of three major plant nutrients – Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash – is usually made up, albeit partially, with fertilizers. But, the depletion of equally essential micronutrients, numbering over a dozen, is often not taken care of. Consequently, the deficiency of micronutrients like Sulphur, Zinc, Boron, Iron, Molybdenum and Manganese has been noticed in soils on a wide scale. A majority of the soils in India thus are deficient in secondary nutrients and micronutrients vital for both plant and human health. A study conducted by the Indian Institute of Soil Science (IISS has found that the soils of as many as 174 districts across 13 states were deficient in secondary nutrients like Sulphur and micronutrients like Zinc, Boron, Iron, Manganese and Copper. Most of the arable lands across the country show low levels of organic carbon with deficiencies ranging from 11% to 76%. The total “negative nutrient balance” is estimated at a staggering 8 to 10 million tonnes a year. And it is set to reach around 15 million tonnes by 2025. International Conference on Soil Health and Plant Nutrition organized by ICFA therefore holds key in pooling ideas to improve the soil nutrient status and plant health.
The Conference aims at achieving the following specific objectives: