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Nutrient Usage in Punjab Agriculture-Status and Constraints

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Arjinder Kaur and Sukhjeet K. Saran

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Indian Journal of Economics and Development
Year : 2016, Volume : 12, Issue : 1a
First page : ( 501) Last page : ( 506)
Print ISSN : 2277-5412. Online ISSN : 2322-0430.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2322-0430.2016.00113.X

Nutrient Usage in Punjab Agriculture-Status and Constraints

Kaur Arjinder*, Saran Sukhjeet K
Department of Economics and Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141004

*Corresponding author’s email: arjkaur@yahoo.com

JEL Codes Q20, Q24, Q32

Online published on 26 April, 2016.

Abstract
Many natural resources, which were once regarded as free goods, have now become scarce resources. Economic development affects the environment more often in a negative way, same is true for land use in Punjab agriculture. The profitable combination of rice-wheat crops has led to higher doses of inputs like chemical fertilizers and pesticides. But, the trend undertaken to sustain productivity in an imbalanced way has affected the soil health adversely. Excessive use has created deficiencies of nutrients in the soil leading to higher fertilization, increased costs and squeezing profit margins. Consumption of chemical fertilizers was found to be almost double of Indian consumption in 2012–13. Nutrient cost in Punjab was found to be about 18 per cent of the total operational cost in wheat crop, followed by 12.5 per cent in paddy and nearly eight per cent in case of cotton crop respectively. Sampled farmers in sub-mountainous zone (zone I) were found to be using fertilizer sprays according to recommendation, followed by zone III and lastly by zone II. Zone II is the central plain zone or wheat paddy zone, where farmers were not using fertilizers as per the package of practices. If we see category-wise, small farmers were using fertilizers more optimally than medium and large farmers in the state. The expenditure on fertilizer use was higher than that calculated at recommended level of fertilize use. The prominent reason to use higher levels of fertilizer than recommended was cited as to enhance the yields of crops, followed by maintenance of soil fertility and to cope with deficit rains/water availability. Only 2 per cent of the farmers showed ignorance about proper knowledge regarding fertilizer doses but they highlighted the constraints regarding the issue and the associated environmental problems to be solved.

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