The International Food Policy Research Institute, as part of the Conservative Group on International Agricultural Research, is profoundly concern about the new agricultural technology and the policies needed to encourage its adoption and increase its effectiveness in meeting major societal objectives. The spread of high-yielding varieties depends greatly on increased in fertilizer availability to farmers. Likewise, continued rapid growth in fertilizer uses depends on new crops varieties that can provide greater yields in response to larger doses of fertilizer. It is clear that during the next few decades the food supplies necessary to meet even minimum expected rates of population growth and growth in per capita income cannot be realized without the development of this symbiotic fertilizer research relationship. In this research report, Gunvant M. Desai demonstrates that growth in fertilizer uses is a complex function of many variables that must be seen in relation to each other if an effective expansionary policy is to be developed. He notes that in the past there has been a lack of understanding of the importance of ample, assured supplies of fertilizer use will not be possible, and fertilizers will be confined to the crops and places where they have been most profitable in the past. He suggest that growth in fertilizer use has been constrained by the role of foreign assistance in financing fertilizer imports for developing countries, the large fluctuations in the size and timing of such foreign exchange availability due to change in export demands and prices. This has been exacerbated by deficiencies in administration of fertilizer supplies. Desai analyzes these and other issues through the Indian experience. He provides a basis for understanding that experience and developing policies to continue fertilizer growth in India in the face of the more difficult economic environment for fertilizer use. Perhaps most valuable, this research provides a model for similar in dept analyses in other countries. Desai has spent almost 20 years exploring the complex factors of fertilizer use, which his study reflects in its thorough and highly integrated approach. This analysis will be followed by another research report that will be followed by another research report that will include a comparison of other intensive analyses at the country level.


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