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Punjab agriculture had an issue of  imbalance use of fertilisers. With Green Revolution, the fertiliser use increased from 37.5 kg per ha in 1970-71 to 162.6 kg per ha in 1990-91 to 243 kg per ha in 2010-11 and further, it came down to 228 kg per ha in 2018-19.

In 1990-91, per ha use of fertilizer in the state was more than twice the average used in India.  However, in 2010-11, this ratio was 1.67, as the all India average use of fertiliser per ha also increased. Between 2011-12 and 2013-14, the ratio again started rising as average use at the all India level dropped and further in 2017-18, the ratio was 1.77.  

The Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) ratio in soil should be 4:2:1. However, due to urea subsidy and the over use of fertilisers , the nitrogen content in state soils increased.   At the all India level, the ratio of use was 6.1:2.4:1 in 2017-18. In comparison, in Punjab, in the same year, the usage was in the ratio of 28.8:6.9:1. There had been a significant improvement over 1990-91, when the ratio was 58.5:21.9:1. The ratio has further improved in 2018-19.

Another state agricultural issue had been pesticide use. Thepesticide use is being controlled at levels within the state. Usage of pesticides was high with an amount of 6970 metric tonnes during the year 2000-01. Since 2011-12, it has been around an average of 5717 metric tonnes. Further, high usage has been reported in 2016-17 i.e. 5843 M), due  to the pest attack in the previous year. In 2018-19, pesticide use declined by 0.7% over the previous year. 

Punjab witnessed an improvement in the balanced use of fertilisers since 1990-91

Nitrogen to Potassium use and Phosphorus to Potassium use in Punjab

 Source: Directorate of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Punjab


Fertiliser use patterns in Punjab (kg/ha)

Source: Economic and Statistical Organisation, Punjab and Agricultural Statistics at a Glance, 2018


Pesticides use witnessed a spike in 2016-17 in response to the whitefly pest attack

Pesticide use in Punjab (metric tonnes)

Source: Directorate of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Punjab