With India’s consumption of micro-nutrients in the agriculture sector remaining below the global average, the International Zinc Association (IZA) on Thursday called for the integration of micro-nutrients in agri-practices to produce nutrition-rich crops.

Recently, there has been a shift in Indian consumer preferences towards healthier food options that can aid in maintaining and improving health. This has resulted in a surge in demand for high-value crops, thus driving the need for micro-nutrients in the Indian agriculture industry, it said.

“India’s journey towards optimal health and well-being hinges on the pervasive integration of micro-nutrients into our diets, healthcare, and agriculture practices,” IZA South Asia Director Sourmitra Das said.

He was addressing a two-day global micro-nutrient summit organised by IZA in association with the Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) here in the national capital.

Highlighting the pressing challenge of micro-nutrient deficiencies affecting soil, crops and human well-being, Das said on a global scale, recognising the indispensability of micro-nutrients in agriculture is paramount for fostering a robust, healthy, and resilient population.

According to IZA, among micro-nutrients, 40 per cent of soils in India are estimated to be deficient in zinc, 23 per cent in boron and about 12 per cent in iron.

As per the recent report, the Indian agricultural micro-nutrients market is projected to grow from $ 571.6 million in 2022 to $ 1,057.6 million by 2029, it added.

Speaking on the occasion, FAI Director General Arvind Chaudhary said there is a need to create awareness around the usage of micro-nutrient-enriched fertilisers.

“They are the elemental keystones, unlocking the potential within every seed, and transforming barren fields into flourishing landscapes. Embracing these micro-nutrient-rich formulations isn’t just a choice, it’s an investment in the promise of sustainable agriculture, securing a nourished future for generations to come,” he said.

Furthermore, the growing awareness about the positive correlation between healthy crops and increased yield has further propelled the growth of the agricultural micro-nutrient market, he added.

The FAI DG also mentioned that the Indian government is taking steps to educate farmers on soil health by launching various agricultural schemes and offering subsidies to encourage the adoption of agricultural micro-nutrients.

Globally, the use of micro-nutrients is four kg against the use of 100 kg of fertilisers. However, in India, it is only 870 grams against the use of 100 kg of fertilisers, he added.

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