After the launch of nano-urea last year, the government is likely to make available nano-diammonium phosphate (nano-DAP), a variety of soil nutrient, to farmers by 2023 kharif season, fertilisers minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Thursday.
“All the tests on biosafety and toxicity have been completed, the approval for commercial use of nano-DAP would be announced soon,” Mandaviya said in an interaction with farmers here. He said with the wider use of nano-urea and nano-DAP, the fertiliser subsidy incurred by the government could be reduced significantly over the next couple of years.
Earlier, a fertiliser ministry official had stated that field trials for nano-DAP have been completed and data has been submitted to the agriculture ministry.
Sources said nano-DAP will be sold at Rs 600 per bottle of 500 ml by farmers cooperative India Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (Iffco). One bottle of nano-DAP is equivalent to one bag of DAP, which costs Rs 1,350 per bag to farmers, while actual cost of a bag is Rs 4,000. The gap between actual cost and prices paid by the farmers is borne by the government under fertiliser subsidy head.
Nearly half of India’s DAP requirements are imported via West Asia and Jordan.
Also read: New Bank Locker Agreement 2023: Is Fixed Deposit account opening mandatory to cover locker charges?
In June 2021, Iffco launched nano urea in liquid form as an alternative to conventional urea.
The government is aiming to increase the current annual production capacity of nano urea from the 50 million bottle (550 ml each) to 440 million bottles by 2025 thus would stop import of soil nutrient variety, Arun Singhal, secretary, Department of Fertiliser, had said.
“We are setting up 10 plants which would manufacture 440 million bottles annually by 2025 which potentially is equivalent to 20 million tonne (MT) of conventional urea,” Singhal had told FE recently.
Singhal said out of 35 MT of annual urea demand, potentially 20 MT can be replaced by nano urea. “Even if that does happen to the fullest extent in the next couple of years, the urea imports will be ruled out by 2025,” he said.
Out of total annual demand of 35 MT of urea, close to 29 MT is domestically produced and rest is imported.
Also read: RBI Monetary policy: MPC to increase repo rate by 50bps, may tone down more hike fears to offset hawkish move
The commercial production of nano urea commenced on August 1, 2021 by Iffco and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers
Officials said the efficiency of nano urea is more than 80%as compared to around 40% of conventional urea. Use of nano urea increases yield by 3-16%.
In a directive, the Centre has directed fertiliser companies along with the state government to actively promote the use of nano urea amongst the farmers. According to a directive by the fertiliser ministry, nano urea has emerged as a powerful alternative to conventional urea, the increased use would result in financial savings to farmers. It would also increase crop productivity and reduce India’s dependence on urea imports and reduce subsidy burden.