How efficiently is chemical fertilizer used in Indian agriculture?

How efficiently is chemical fertilizer used in Indian agriculture? Challenges and alternatives

From Agrarian South

Chemical fertilizer is one of the main inputs in Indian agriculture. The objective of this article is to study the efficiency of chemical fertilizer use in India over five decades (1962–65 to 2003–06). Using the technique of data envelopment analysis (DEA), the efficiency of fertilizer use is measured at the district level for four selected states, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and West Bengal, representing the southern, western, northern and eastern regions, respectively. The gap between target and actual fertilizer use is examined. The results reveal a disturbing overuse of chemical fertilizer. The environment is greatly affected by the overuse of fertilizers, leading to the degradation of soil health. This, in turn, reduces the productivity of the soil. Efficient use of fertilizer enables the farmers to minimize the cost of production. Farmers need to be encouraged to use organic manures and biofertilizers. This does not mean that farmers should stop using chemical fertilizer; such use can be substantially reduced.

 

Abstract

Chemical fertilizer is one of the main inputs in Indian agriculture. The objective of the article is to study the efficiency of chemical fertilizer use in India over five decades (1962–65 to 2003–06). This period extends from the pre-green revolution to the post-reform era. Chemical fertilizer use is not uniform and efficient throughout the Indian states. For the purposes of this study, the districts of four states, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and West Bengal, have been selected, representing the southern, western, northern and eastern regions, respectively. Data envelopment analysis technique is used to gauge the input-oriented technical efficiency. The results show that there is substantial scope for reducing the use of fertilizer.

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Article details
Abhijit Ghosh and Saurav Kumar Dey
How Efficiently is Chemical Fertilizer Used in Indian Agriculture? Challenges and Alternatives Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy December 2014 3: 403-426, doi:10.1177/2277976014560948

 

 

     
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