Date Published:
Nov 06, 2017
Focus Area(s):
PJD 2017 Vol. 43 No. 1b

The fertilizer policy in the country has evolved from pervasive interventionism in the 1970s to today's market-oriented regime. Government has abandoned price policies and subsidies, focusing rather on standard setting, quality regulation, and training. Over the same period, domestic demand for fertilizer has continually increased, though recently, resurgent fertilizer prices have reduced total utilization. Evidence suggests that farmers (at least in the case of rice) are underapplying fertilizer, forfeiting efficiency gains at the margin. On the supply side, imports have in the past few decades emerged as the main source of fertilizer, as domestic production has dwindled. Priorities for research and policy are therefore understanding the behavior of farmers in terms of fertilizer application, and addressing internal price disparities, perhaps by improved transport infrastructure and logistics.

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