DESPITE environmental pressure against the use of chemical fertilisers, world fertiliser production increased to 158 million tonnes in 1989, which is a 32 per cent increase over production in 1982. However, in some Northern countries, fertiliser output declined because of controls on Crop production imposed in the 1980s as a result of low grain prices. Statistics show the developing countries are fast catching up with the North in both production and consumption of such fertilisers. More ominous are predictions that consumption of all categories of fertilisers will continue to increase in the South. India and China will continue to account for most of the increase in the world's consumption of nitrogen fertilisers. Asian rice-growing countries are expected to increase use of potash fertilisers to compensate for loss of potash content in the soil as a result of high use of nitrogen fertilisers. On the other hand, attempts to set standards on nitrate pollution in groundwater because of heavy use of nitrogen fertilisers, has reduced their use in the European Community.
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