[Answered]What is Integrated Nutrient Management (INM)? Discuss various advantages and constraints in the Adoption of the INM System.

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual introduction.

Body. Discuss various advantages and constraints in the Adoption of the INM System

Conclusion. Way forward.

Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) is the process to maintain the soil fertility and plant nutrient supply at an optimum level for sustaining the desired crop productivity. The aim of Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) is to integrate the use of natural and man-made soil nutrients to increase crop productivity and preserve soil productivity for future generations.

Various advantages of the INM System:

  1. Soil health: INM help in improvement of the soil physical properties such as granulation, porosity, water holding and drainage capacity, aeration etc. It also leads to improvement in the organic matter content in the soil making soil healthy.
  2. Better yield: Balanced nutrition to the crops and better nutritional uptake lead to better plant growth and yield.
  3. Environmental benefits: INM minimizes the deterioration of soil, water and ecosystem by promoting carbon sequestration, reducing nutrient losses to ground and surface water bodies and to atmosphere.
  4. Fruitful utilization of farm wastes: INM promotes utilisation of farm wastes as a manure and a source of nutrients to crops.
  5. Cost reduction: Some organic sources are cheaply available hence they help in reducing the production cost.
  6. Judicious use: Overuse of chemical fertilisers is a big issue in Indian agriculture. INM encouragement of the judicious use of chemical fertilizers.

Various constraints in the Adoption of the INM System:

  1. Lack of knowledge: Farmers often have inadequate knowledge on use of fertilizers in balanced proportion.
  2. Funding: Farmers lack access to credit especially in rural areas. They have insufficient funds to buy manure, fertilizer that are important for INM.
  3. Land degradation: Degradation of lands due to intensive cropping and over-exploitation by the enormous pressure of the ever-increasing population is a big constraint to INM.
  4. Monsoon vagaries: Indian agriculture is dependent on monsoon. Risk of water deficit during drought prone periods is considered the most important deterrent to fertilizer use. During monsoon, water erosion is a serious threat on soil fertility and productivity.
  5. Limitation of small holdings: Land is fragmented in India and most of the farmers hold small holdings. This prevents the application of INM at commercial level.
  6. Limitation of biofertilizer: There are several constraints to effectively utilize and popularize the use of biofertilizer e.g. use of the biofertilizer is crop and location specific, low shelf life of the microorganisms, need for careful handling etc. Moreover, poor-quality bio-fertilizers that reach the farmers are ineffective and their marketing becomes difficult because the products contain living or latent organisms.

INM is a sustainable way of agriculture. It not only increase crop productivity but also helps in soil, water and biological restoration. Developing awareness among the farmers by extension agencies about the deteriorating soil health, unsustainable production and environmental pollution due to non-use of organics is important to promote INM in India.

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