Indian Fertiliser market is segmented into nitrogenous, phosphatic, potash, complex, secondary nutrient, and micronutrient fertilizers on the basis of product. Based on their nature, fertilizers can be classified into chemical fertilizer and biofertilizer. The fertilizer consumption is predominantly driven by urea i.e. ~55% of total consumption, followed by Diammonium phosphate (DAP), Muriate of potash (MOP) and Single superphosphate (SSP). India imports around 30% of its total fertilizer consumption.
In India, the penetration of organic fertilizer is very low i.e. the proportion of organic fertilizer of the total fertilizer consumption is only 0.29% for the year 2018-19 and 0.34% for the year 2019-20. The fertilizer consumption in India was 156.3 kg/ha during the year 2010, which was a meagre 2 kg in 1950. Increased consumption of synthetic chemical fertilizers played a pivotal role in increased crop production thus alleviating hunger in India, but has also resulted in some adverse effects on natural resources like disaster in soil quality and conceivable outcomes of water pollution. Due to these unfavourable outcomes, greater emphasis is being laid on sustainable agriculture practices replacing chemical fertilizer with Organic/bio-fertilizer/compost.
|Parameter||Organic||Inorganic / Synthetic|
|Soil Health||Helps by improving soil texture and structure, which increase water holding capacity and beneficial microbial activities||Known to deteriorate soil health in long run. Leads to pollution.|
|Nutrient Content||Nitrogen and Phosphorus content is often substantially lower. Nutrient content also vary with type of feedstock.||High or configured nutrient content.|
|Release of Nutrients||They need to be broken down by soil organisms in order for their nutrients to be released and takes time. Because they work slowly, nothing is wasted. Slow and steady||Faster and immediate, but nutrients are vulnerable to run off, which is potential hazard for water bodies.|
|Volume and Transportation||Requires high volume, thus ineffective cost of transportation. But use of locally available sources with enrichment is perfectly reasonable if its use is consistent with the production strategy.||Less volume compared to Organic fertilizers creates a toxic concentration of salts if over-applied.|
|Nutrient quantity||Difficult to have control as nutrient quantity varies with feedstock||Easy to manage the quantity|
|Output||Healthy and sustainable food for population||Known to contain toxic chemicals|
Government is undertaking various initiatives to promote organic fertilizer/compost in turn to encourage sustainable agriculture practices. The Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, and Government of India has notified the scheme for promotion of City Compost on 10.02.2016. Under the scheme, Market Development Assistance (MDA) in the form of fixed amount of Rs. 1500 per tonne City Compost is provided on the sale of city compost to Fertilizer Marketing Companies as well as to City Compost manufacturers. Further, to promote the manure produced from CBG plants, Fermented Organic manure and Bio-slurry have been included under FCO 1985. More opportunities are being explored for marketing the Fermented Organic Manure through Oil & Gas Cos. network.