Fertilizer use by crop in India

Land and Plant Nutrition Management Service
Land and Water Development Division

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Fertilizer use by crop in India
First version, published by FAO, Rome, 2005

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel.: (+39) 06 57051
Fax: (+39) 06 57053360
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders. Applications for such permission should be addressed to the Chief, Publishing Management Service, Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy or by e-mail to [email protected]

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, © FAO 2005

Hyperlinks to non-FAO Internet sites do not imply any official endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at these locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. The sole purpose of links to non-FAO sites is to indicate further information available on related topics.

This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software. FAO declines all responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original printed version.





Abbreviations and symbols

1.   Introduction

Agro-ecological zones

Major soil groups

Alluvial soils

Black soils

Red soils

Laterite and lateritic soils

Desert (arid) soils

Forest and hill soils

Saline and sodic soils

Peaty and marshy soils

Soil fertility status

Farm sizes

2.   The Fertilizer Sector




Consumption at state level

NPK consumption ratio

Consumption by product

3.   Organic manures and biofertilizers

4.   Fertilizer use by crop

Fertilizer use by agro-ecological zone

Arid ecosystem

Semi-arid ecosystem

Subhumid ecosystem

Humid-perhumid Ecosystem

Coastal ecosystem

Island ecosystem

Fertilizer use by crop

Paddy rice



Pearl millet


Pigeon pea

Rapeseed and mustard


Sugar cane



Other crops

Rice-wheat system

5.   Prices and Profitability of Fertilizers

Prices of fertilizers

Prices of agricultural products

Profitability of fertilizer use

Fertilizer subsidy

6.   Fertilizer distribution and credit

Components of marketing costs


7.   Future prospects

References 45

List of tables

1.     Distribution of area according to annual rainfall

2.     Important features of agro-ecological zones of India

3.     Extent of macronutrient deficiency in India

4.     Extent of micronutrient deficiency in India

5.     Number, area covered and average size of landholdings

6.     Chronology of fertilizer production in India

7.     Production by product 2003/04

8.     Production, importation and consumption of fertilizers

9.     Consumption of fertilizers by state 2003/04

10.   Growth in biofertilizer production

11.   Growth in fertilizer consumption in India

12.   Fertilizer consumption in agro-ecological zones of India, 2003/04

13.   Fertilizer use on important crops, 2003/04

14.   Fertilizer-use pattern under the rice-wheat cropping system in the Indo-Gangetic Plains

15.   Maximum retail prices of fertilizers, by product

16.   Maximum retail prices of fertilizers, nutrient basis

17.   Procurement/minimum support prices of agricultural products

18.   Physical returns

19.   Profitability of mineral fertilization for selected crops 2004/05

20.   Subsidies on fertilizers

21.   Credit flow by type of agency for agriculture and allied activities

List of figures

1     Crop groups by cropped area

2     Agro-ecological zones of India

3     Dominant soil map of India

4     Share of fertilizers in total N and P2O5consumption, 2003/04

5     Fertilizer marketing and distribution channels

6     Share of various components in marketing cost of urea