Excellent article in the Mint 'Farming is dead; long live subsidies' about farming in India and the skewed production processes, thanks to fertilizer subsidies, political pressures and pricing policies.
The costs, of course, are staggering. Food and fertilizers subsidies alone accounted for Rs1.02 trillion. As for the ecological costs, they simply cannot be calculated.
“Our land had 24 elements/micronutrients when intensive cultivation (had) begun in 1962-63. There was shortage of only one or two such elements. Today, excessive subsidization of chemical fertilizers has ensured that very few farmers use natural fertilizers. The result is that in many parts of Punjab, soil is deficient in as many as 16 micronutrients. You can see the ecological costs for yourself,” says Sucha Singh Gill, an agricultural economist and former professor of economics at Punjabi University in Patiala.