Fertilizer Subsidy is a Wicked Problem

A sprint that is worth reading through if you are interested in solving the fertilizer subsidy problem.

Maybe you could summarise the key takeaways?

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India subsidising urea (N of NPK) leads to rampant overuse; imbalance in the consumption of fertilisers has led to worsening soil quality that has resulted in falling crop response to fertilisers, which, in turn, has caused farm productivity and farmers’ profitability to be adversely affected.

With falling farm yields and climate effects, increasing farmer income will be difficult, which means continuing to subsidise fertiliser will work against the government’s stated goal for the agriculture sector. And data depicts that the most affected are the small and marginal farmers.

The wicked sprint suggests -

  • Increasing price of urea and simultaneously decreasing the price of Diammonium phosphate (DAP) (phosphorus) fertilizer for the next 3 years.
  • After 3 years, bring Urea under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Programme for Fertilizers. Under the scheme, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers, except for Urea, based on the nutrient content present in them. Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme will ensure that an adequate quantity of P&K is made available to the farmers at a statutory controlled price. Bringing Urea under this scheme will ensure balance of NPK constituents in the fertilizers used by farmers.
  • Regular consultation with farmers on any additional measures that are needed to assist in transition.
  • Providing incentives (cash) in lieu of not using chemical fertilizer, and monitoring this through the Panchayats.

Overall -

  • Improve the current situation of excessive urea usage
  • Support and compensate chemical free farming
  • Enable farmers in the transition
  • Results being improved farmer income (higher yields) and lesser environmental degradation
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There is a startup which is addressing this issue. They have developed a concept called Urea Deep Placement along with machinery to implement the concept in fields. If awareness programs conducted with farmers about this concept in their respective regions it will be helpful for farmers as well as climate.
Urea Deep placement technology

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Hey Praveen - this is very nice and thank you. Have you had an opportunity to work with anyone on the team there who we can speak to? I will try to reach out to them independently as well. :slight_smile:

I have tried one year back but there was no prompt response. I think now they will support.

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