To achieve quantum jump in any sector, innovation, state-of-the-art technology and skilled manpower is needed. But sadly, in India, agriculture is heavily dependent on Chemical fertilisers and has been practised in a very primitive way. This is one of the main reasons why even though it employs nearly 50% of the population directly or indirectly, it only has a 18.8% contribution in GVA terms. But the latest masterstroke of the Modi government in the agriculture sector will be a game changer and may prove to be as effective as the Green Revolution.
World’s first Liquid Nano Urea plant
Over dependence on any country, in key sectors of the economy can be detrimental for the long term growth of India and this has been the outline motive of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Programme. Evidently, the Western sanctions on Russia, the world’s largest fertiliser exporter can be a blessing in disguise for India and a pathway for an Atma Nirbhar Bharat in the fertiliser sector. Moving on this path Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the World’s first liquid Nano Urea Plant.
This plant is based in Kalol town of Gujarat’s Gandhinagar district and has been built with an investment of Rs 175 crore. Currently it has the capacity to produce 1.5 Lakh bottles of 500ml capacity of nano urea per day. Further, application of 1 bottle of Nano Urea, costing Rs 240 without government subsidy, can effectively replace at least 1 bag of Urea, costing Rs 300 after heavy government subsidy. IFFCO nano urea liquid was developed through the proprietary technology at IFFCOs Nano Biotechnology Research Centre (NBRC) in Kalol. This patented product will be helpful in substituting imported urea and produce better results in farms.
According to the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) it has higher nutrient use efficiency and will help in reducing Pollution. It will also help in uplifting the status of farmers and increase their income in a big way. In a release the IFFCO said, “Nano urea has higher nutrient use efficiency and aims to reduce soil, water and air pollution. Use of nano urea liquid will lead to substantial increase in farmers’ income and it will significantly bring down the logistics and warehousing cost”.
Dr US Awasthi, MD, IFFCO said, “Nano urea liquid has been found to be very effective in increasing the nutritional quality and productivity of the crop and improves quality of underground water. Some 3.60 crore bottles of IFFCO nano urea liquid have been produced of which 2.50 crores have already been sold.”
This is a purely indigenous development as it has been developed and patented by IFFCO. According to the IFFCO, it has been tested on more than 90 crops across 11,000 locations in collaboration with ICAR- KVKs, Research Institutes, State Agriculture Universities and progressive farmers of India.
How is this revolutionary?
When sprayed on leaves, Nano Urea easily enters through stomata and other openings and is assimilated by the plant cells. It is easily distributed from source to sink inside the plant as per its need. Unutilized nitrogen is stored in the plant and is slowly released for proper growth and development of the plant. Urea artificially provides nitrogen to plants but the conventional urea is often applied incorrectly causing the loss of nitrogen in vapour form resulting in a very poor efficiency of 25%. Contrary to this, Nano Urea has an efficiency of 85-90%. Hence, as mentioned earlier, one bottle of liquid nano urea can replace a heavy bag of Urea.
Further, it is already cheaper than the government subsidised urea bag. It has been estimated that Centre may have to shoulder the burden of fertiliser subsidy bill which in FY23 may skyrocket upto Rs 2.3 lakh crore. Thus this liquid nano urea will ease up the burden of fertiliser subsidy on the government.
This will be a major landmark in the agriculture sector and will reduce the input cost of the farmers that will help us achieve the target of doubling the Income of farmers. The success of this IFFCO developed Liquid Nano Urea will pave a way for the Atma Nirbharta in the main component of agriculture, that is, fertiliser and reduce our import bill as well as subsidy burden.