India to cut fertilizer subsidy by 13%
India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said in her interim budget speech on Thursday that the government will cut its fertilizer subsidy for the next fiscal year to 1.64 trillion rupees ($19.8bn).
That figure is 13% lower than the revised subsidy of 1.89 trillion rupees for the current fiscal year.
The subsidy reduction comes as international fertilizer prices fall, the Indian government continues to encourage the use of organic fertilizers, and uptake of IFFCO’s controversial nano urea grows.
While the measure will help the government to bring down its budget deficit, there are concerns that if farmers subsequently find themselves facing higher costs then they may seek to use less fertilizer, which could undermine India’s food security.