What is a nano urea liquid?
- Nano urea is urea in the form of a nanoparticle containing nitrogen particles of 20–50 nanometres in size. It provides nitrogen to plants in liquid form as an alternative to conventional urea.
- A 500ml bottle of nano urea is equivalent to a 45kg bag of conventional urea.
Who developed nano urea liquid?
- The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), a cooperative society, has developed and patented nano urea liquid technology.
- IFFCO is producing indigenously-developed nano urea at its Nano Biotechnology Research Centre in Kalol (a city in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat) on a commercial scale.
- IFFCO will transfer the technology of Liquid Nano Urea to public sector fertiliser companies to increase production rapidly.
- In the non-urea fertiliser category too, there are plans to develop and produce nano stuff such as Nano-DAP (Diammonium phosphate), Nano-Zinc, Nano-Boron etc.
What are the benefits of nano urea liquid?
- Nano urea liquid will help in reducing the use of chemical fertilizers to save the environment because the imbalanced use of fertilizers is deteriorating the health of the soil. It is also causing air and water pollution.
- Nano Urea can be a game-changer as it will cut down the use of conventional urea up to 50%.
- While conventional urea has an efficiency of about 25 per cent, the efficiency of liquid nano urea can be as high as 85-90 per cent.
- Conventional urea fails to have the desired impact on crops as it is often applied incorrectly, and the nitrogen in it is vaporised or lost as gas. A lot of nitrogen is also washed away during irrigation.
- Liquid nano urea is sprayed directly on the leaves and gets absorbed by the plant. Unutilized nitrogen is stored in the plant vacuole and is slowly released for proper growth and development of the plant.
- Thus, Nano fertilizer releases plant nutrients in a controlled manner contributing to higher nutrient use efficiency.
- It will also help in direct savings, reduce transportation costs, and make storage much easier.
Self-Reliance in Production
- India is the second-largest consumer and the third-largest producer of urea in the world. The country annually consumes around 33 million tonnes of urea, of which almost 70% is domestically produced, while the rest is imported from other countries.
- India is hoping to end its reliance on imported urea by increasing the production of nano urea.
Reduction in Subsidy Burden
- To make fertilisers affordable to farmers, the Centre controls the maximum retail price (MRP) of urea at a low level unrelated to the cost of production and distribution, which is higher. The excess of cost over MRP is reimbursed to the manufacturer as a subsidy. Retail prices of non-urea fertilisers such as Di-ammonium Phosphate (most widely used one after urea), Muriate of Potash (MoP) are decontrolled and are determined by manufacturers, while the Centre gives a fixed subsidy each year.
- Two-thirds of India’s fertilizer subsidy burden — estimated at around ₹2.50 trillion — goes into ensuring that farmers get urea, the most commonly used fertilizer, at a reasonable cost.
- New nano-urea plants are expected to offset the burden of mounting fertiliser subsidies.
Why in News?
- The Government of India laid the foundation stone of IFFCO Nano DAP (Liquid) Plant at Gandhidham, Gujarat.