Excessive use of chemical fertilizers poses serious threat to aquatic life
Srinagar, Feb 10:
Experts have warned that excessive use of chemical fertilizers could lead to
uncontrollable growth of algae and floating weeds which could have serious
According to the
official document of Department of Soil Science, SKAUST, commonly used
fertilizers including Urea, Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), Muriate of Potash
(MOP), have serious side effects.
“These fertilizers help in forming strong root
systems and develop flowers or fruit.
However, they get washed out with rain and irrigation. When phosphorus
and nitrate levels rise in water bodies, aquatic plants such as algae and
floating weeds, can grow out of control,” reads the document.
On an average,
fertilizer use increases by 10 to 15 per cent every year in Kashmir, as per the
Department of Soil Sciences, SKAUST, Javed Ahmed Wani said the demand for the
chemical fertilizers have increased over the years as huge chunk of
agricultural land is converted into orchards for higher productivity.
when you want a higher yield, you will press for similar measures which will
expedite the crop growth,” he said.
noted that urea and di-ammonia phosphate in particular have serious
of nutrient enrichment of aquatic bodies is known as eutrophication, which
deteriorate the water quality leading to death of fish. Moreover, the seepage
of fertilizers and pesticides also pollutes the ground water,” he said.
said if farmers switch to ‘Integrated nutrient management”, the excessive use
of chemical fertilizers can be controlled.
“Under this concept,
we are telling farmers to use 75 percent fertilizers and compensate 25 percent
with organic nutrients like crop residues, manure and vermin compost. They can
restore soil nutrients especially nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and ramp
up output without compromising with the quality,” he said.
Bhat, Researcher at Department of Environmental Sciences, said efforts should
be made to promote organic fertilizers. “Organic fertilizers contain essential
plant nutrients which increase organic soil carbon and support soil microbial
life,” he said.