Nitrogen Challenges and Opportunities for Agricultural and Environmental Science in India

Móring, A and Hooda, S and Raghuram, N and Adhya, T K and Ahmad, A and Bandyopadhyay, S K and Barsby, T and Beig, G and Bentley, A R and Bhatia, A and Dragosits, U and Drewer, J and Foulkes, J and Ghude, S D and Gupta, R and Jain, N and Kumar, D and Kumar, R M and Ladha, J K and Mandal, P K and Neeraja, C N and Pandey, R and Pathak, H and Pawar, P and Pellny, T K and Poole, P and Price, A and Rao, D L N and Reay, D S and Singh, N K and Sinha, S K and Srivastava, R K and Shewry, P and Smith, J and Steadman, C E and Subrahmanyam, D and Surekha, K and Venkatesh, K and Varinderpal, S and Uwizeye, A and Vieno, M and Sutton, M A (2021) Nitrogen Challenges and Opportunities for Agricultural and Environmental Science in India. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems (TSI), 5. pp. 1-16. ISSN 2571-581X

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In the last six decades, the consumption of reactive nitrogen (Nr) in the form of fertilizer in India has been growing rapidly, whilst the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of cropping systems has been decreasing. These trends have led to increasing environmental losses of Nr, threatening the quality of air, soils, and fresh waters, and thereby endangering climate-stability, ecosystems, and human-health. Since it has been suggested that the fertilizer consumption of India may double by 2050, there is an urgent need for scientific research to support better nitrogen management in Indian agriculture. In order to share knowledge and to develop a joint vision, experts from the UK and India came together for a conference and workshop on “Challenges and Opportunities for Agricultural Nitrogen Science in India.” The meeting concluded with three core messages: (1) Soil stewardship is essential and legumes need to be planted in rotation with cereals to increase nitrogen fixation in areas of limited Nr availability. Synthetic symbioses and plastidic nitrogen fixation are possibly disruptive technologies, but their potential and implications must be considered. (2) Genetic diversity of crops and new technologies need to be shared and exploited to reduce N losses and support productive, sustainable agriculture livelihoods. (3) The use of leaf color sensing shows great potential to reduce nitrogen fertilizer use (by 10–15%). This, together with the usage of urease inhibitors in neem-coated urea, and better management of manure, urine, and crop residues, could result in a 20–25% improvement in NUE of India by 2030.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Genetic Gains
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nitrogen, Nitrogen use efficiency, Indian agriculture, Nitrogen management, Fertilizer
Subjects: Others > Agriculture
Others > Fertilizer Applications
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 17 May 2021 10:25
Last Modified: 17 May 2021 10:25
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Acknowledgement: This paper is an outcome of the joint conference and workshop, Challenges and Opportunities for Agricultural Nitrogen Science in India supported by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Indian Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and INMS (Toward the Establishment of an International Nitrogen Management System). The authors are grateful for all the support they received for this overview paper from the four VJCs, under the lead of NEWS India-UK (BBSRC BB/N013492/1), with contributions from CINTRIN, INEW, and IUNFC, as well as the UKRI GCRF South Asian Nitrogen Hub, RySS and SUNRISE (Sustainable Use of Natural Resources to Improve Human Health and Support Economic Development). The paper is a contribution to the work of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI). The development of the village Bassian as a role model village for adoption of PAU-LCC was voluntarily supported by the Atam Pargas Social Welfare Council.
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