India has the second largest population in the world, and is the third largest international potash market. With a growing population that is expected to reach 1.5 billion people by 2030, there is a significant need for India to grow more food on the available arable land base—specifically by improving crop production through the use of balanced fertilization.
Balanced fertilization is very important for a country like India, where of the existing 9% of arable land, only 35 % is irrigated. The remaining 65 % of land is dependent on monsoon rainfall for its water supply. That means that when India has good monsoons, they have good harvests. Alternately, when India has weak or bad monsoons, the crops do not get enough water and thus, produce less food. A poor monsoon season dramatically affects the agricultural sector and ultimately leads to lower agricultural income and GDP. Such irregularity of weather is challenging to farmers when they rely on rain for good plant health. Fortunately, potash improves a plant’s overall health and can assist when there is either too much or too little water. Plants with proper ratios of potash have improved root strength and are more resistant to drought.
Since 1985, Canpotex has operated farmer education programs in India that teach how to best apply a balanced ratio of potash, nitrogen and phosphate to improve soil health and increase crop yields. With nearly 50 % of India’s workforce employed in agriculture, Canpotex is committed to continuing these types of educational programs to ensure that this important sector is best supported for economic and agricultural success.
Currently, Canpotex supplies India with approximately 1 million tonnes of potash annually, making Canpotex one of Canada’s top five exporters to India. Since 1972, we have delivered over 20 million tonnes of potash to India, where it is primarily applied to crops such as rice, fruits and vegetables, wheat and pulses.
Sources: PotashCorp and IMF