Leading fertiliser cooperative major IFFCO on Sunday said it has started commercial production of nano urea liquid and dispatched the first consignment to Uttar Pradesh for use of farmers. Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO) has priced nano urea liquid at Rs 240 per bottle, which is 10 per cent cheaper than the cost of a bag of conventional urea. It is a patented technology of IFFCO developed at its Nano Biotechnology Research Center, Gujarat.
“IFFCO Nano Urea is a product of the 21st century and it is the need of hour to keep the environment soil, air and water, safe for future generations while securing food for all,” IFFCO Vice Chairman Dilip Shangani said in a statement on the occasion of the World Environment Day.
According to IFFCO, the process of construction of nano urea plants at Kalol (in Gujarat) and Aonla and Phulpur (in Uttar Pradesh) has already been initiated. In the Phase-I, the annual production capacity of 14 crore bottles is being installed which would be ramped to additional 18 crore bottles in the Phase II by the year 2023, it said. These 32 crore bottles are expected to potentially replace 1.37 crore tonnes of urea by the year 2023,it added. It may be noted that urea forms 82 per cent of the total nitrogenous fertilisers consumed in India and it has recorded exponential increase in consumption over the years.
Around 30-50 per cent of nitrogen from urea is utilised by plants and the rest gets wasted due to quick chemical transformation as a result of leaching, volatilization and run off, thereby low use efficiency. On benefits of this new product, IFFCO said nano urea liquid is environmental friendly, smart fertilizer with high nutrient use efficiency and a sustainable solution for curtailing pollution and reduction in global warming in the long run as it reduces the emissions of nitrous oxide and doesn’t contaminate soil, air and water bodies. Thus, making it a promising alternative to the conventional urea.
IFFCO explained that the size of one nano urea particle is 30 nanometre and when compare to the conventional urea it has about 10,000 times more surface area to volume size when compare to granular urea. Due to the ultra-small size and surface properties of nano urea, it gets absorbed by the plants when sprayed on their leaves. Upon penetration, these nanoparticles reach plant parts where nitrogen is required and release nutrients in a controlled manner, it said.
Besides this, IFFCO said nano urea requirement will be lower than conventional urea fertiliser to fulfil plant’s nitrogen requirement. The efficacy trials undertaken on over 40 crops at more than 11,000 locations demonstrated that nano urea increases crop productivity and can reduce the requirement of conventional Urea by 50 per cent, it said. Further, application of nano urea (liquid) improves yield, biomass, soil health and nutritional quality of the produce.
Nano urea has been tested for biosafety and toxicity as per the guidelines of Indian government and international guidelines developed by OECD which are adopted and accepted globally, it said. Nano Urea liquid is completely safe for human, animals, birds, rhizosphere organisms and environment at the recommended levels of application, IFFCO said. IFFCO’s nano urea is a giant step towards sustainable agriculture and food systems with a step towards precision and smart farming. This has the potential to revolutionise the entire agriculture sector across the world, it added.