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Showing posts from March, 2013

Chemical fertilizers cost Bihar's farmers heavy

Millions of impoverished farmers in Bihar are paying a heavy price for using chemical fertilizers, which are not only costly but are also contaminating the drinking water and affecting the soil.
Expenses on chemical fertilizers, coming up to around 25 percent of the total cost of cultivation, constitute a significant expenditure incurred by the farmers in the state.
From 2010-11 to 2011-12, the price that Bihar farmers had to pay for chemical fertilizers increased between 20 percent and 45 percent, leading to additional burden for farmers who are already reeling under increasing cost of cultivation and financial insecurity.
It was based on research in five districts of Khagaria, Madhepura, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda and Patna. It revealed ground water and wells on farms showed pollution from nitrogen fertilizers. 
In Nalanda, 65 percent of wells showed some degree of nitrate contamination. Although at present nitrate pollution is not above levels currently considered unsafe for human consum…