Mandaviya bats for nano liquid urea; says it’s cheaper, better, saves govt subsidy
Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday stressed on the need to promote nano liquid urea in place of conventional granular urea, saying that it is better, cheaper, convenient and will help the government in saving a huge amount of subsidy.
In June 2021, cooperative IFFCO launched nano urea as an alternative to conventional urea. It has also set up manufacturing plants to produce nano urea. IFFCO is selling nano urea at Rs 240 per bottle of 500 ml, which can replace one bag of conventional urea of 45kg costing around Rs 265. There is no government subsidy on nano urea. While virtually interacting with four farmers and two owners of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samruddhi Kendras (PMKSK) from different states, Mandaviya enquired about the availability of various fertilisers including nano urea and also whether farmers were getting other advisory services at these centres.
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Under an scheme, around 3 lakh retail fertiliser shops in the country are getting converted into PMKSK in a phased manner. These PMKSK will cater to a wide variety of needs of the farmers and provide agri-inputs (fertilisers, seeds, implements), testing facilities for soil, seeds, and fertilisers; generate awareness among farmers; provide information regarding various government schemes and ensure regular capacity building of retailers at block/district level outlets. In October, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated 600 PMKSK. Now, more than 9,000 PMKSK have become operational.
Mandaviya expects that more than 1 lakh PMKSK will be set up in the coming days. During the interaction, Mandaviya said the government has undertaken many reforms in the fertiliser sector in the last eight years. He said various kinds of nutrients, including nano urea, are now available in the market, which can be used as per the requirement of the soil. The minister emphasised on the need to promote the new technologies to promote nano urea so that the use of conventional urea is reduced. Listing out the benefits of using nano urea, Mandaviya said this new product is cheaper than conventional urea, even without any government subsidy.
He pointed out that the Centre provides a subsidy of Rs 2,000 per bag (45kg) of conventional urea to ensure that farmers get this nutrient at a reasonable price. Mandaviya said there is no government subsidy on nano urea and hence there will be huge savings. The fertiliser subsidy bill for the current fiscal is estimated at around Rs 2.25-2.5 lakh crore as against about Rs 1.6 lakh crore last year. It is easier to carry a bottle of nano urea than a 45-kg bag of conventional urea, he said, adding that the liquid urea can also boost crop yield without any adverse impact on the soil conditions.
Mandaviya said the government will promote the use of nano urea by creating awareness among farmers and informed that the approval of nano-DAP was also under process. The minister said there is a need to increase the use of alternative fertilisers for reducing the input cost of the farmers. Earlier this year, Mandaviya had said that India might not need to import urea after 2025 as domestic production of conventional and nano liquid urea could be sufficient to meet domestic demand. The country’s domestic urea production is around 26 million tonnes, while demand is about 35 million tonnes. The gap is met through imports.
India also imports DAP and MoP (muriate of potash) in huge quantities to meet its domestic demand. Recently at an event organised by digital platform Rural Voice, IFFCO Managing Director U S Awasthi the co-operative plans to launch nano DAP fertiliser in the market soon at Rs 600 per 500 ml bottle. IFFCO is also planning to launch nano-potash, nano-zinc and nano-copper fertilisers. IFFCO has produced 5 crore bottles of nano urea so far, out of which 4.85 crore bottles have already been sold, he had said.
Awasthi had said that the company has developed nano DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) as well and already applied for government approval for introducing this product in the market. He announced that nano-DAP will be sold at Rs 600 per bottle of 500 ml. One bottle will be equivalent to one bag (50 kg) of DAP, which costs Rs 1,350.
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