Boosting productivity – Nano-fertilisers will improve efficiency

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Source: The post is based on the article “Boosting productivity – Nano-fertilisers will improve efficiency” published in the Business Standard on 15th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies.

Relevance: About advantages of Nano-fertilisers.

News: Recently, the government approved the commercial release of nano-DAP (di-ammonium phosphate). The first batch of nano-DAP will hit the market in the upcoming kharif sowing season.

About nano-DAP

DAP is the second-most used plant nutrient in India. The actual production cost of conventional DAP is around Rs 4,000 per bag.

On the other hand, a 500 ml bottle of nano-DAP, equivalent to a 50-kg bag of conventional DAP, is likely to cost the farmers around Rs 600. It is less than half the subsidised price of Rs 1,350 for normal DAP.

About other nano-fertilisers

The government already rolled out nano-urea in 2021. Urea is the most-consumed fertiliser in India.

Nano versions of the third-most important plant nutrient potash and micronutrients like zinc and copper are said to be in advanced stages of development.

What are the advantages of Nano-fertilisers?

More effective suppliers of plant nutrition: Nano-fertilisers containing soil nutrients in ultra-minuscule-sized particles, measuring less than one-billionth of a millimetre. They generally prove more effective suppliers of plant nutrition because of a) the larger number of particles per unit of volume, b) a higher cumulative surface area, c) greater water solubility and d) after sprayed on leaves, nano-particles easily penetrate the stomata and other openings to get assimilated in plant cells.

Hence, they also provide increased yield on the field. For instance, crops sprayed with liquid nano-urea have been found to give a 3-16% higher yield than those treated with equivalent quantities of granulated urea.

Saving on fertiliser subsidies: India’s fertiliser subsidy bill is estimated at Rs 2.25 trillion this year. It can be dropped down to nill with the introduction of nano-fertilisers.

Provide chances for export: The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative, which has pioneered the research, development and commercialisation of these patent-protected nano fertilisers is already receiving requests from other countries for nano fertilisers.

The other advantages are, a) Nano-fertilisers will make India self-reliant in vital farm inputs, b) minimise the damage to the environment as they do not pollute air, soil and water like normal fertilisers do, c) facilitate higher farm output at a lower cost to boost the profitability of agriculture and d) raise farmers’ income.

They make farming sustainable and eco-friendly.

Read more: Cost advantages – Nano-fertilisers will reduce subsidy outgo
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