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About Nano Fertilisers

 Context:

The Department of Fertilisers conducted an audit which revealed a variation of 25-50% in the reduction of nitrogen use after the application of nano urea.

  • The use of nano urea can help the government save approximately USD 3 billion (around Rs 24,687 crore) in subsidy bills annually and reduce India’s dependence on urea imports.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Nano Fertilisers
  2. Significance of Nano Fertilisers in Agriculture
  3. Challenges Associated with Nano Fertilizers

About Nano Fertilisers:

  • Nano fertilisers are highly efficient fertilisers that provide nutrients like nitrogen to crops through fine granules.
  • These fertilisers have a smaller particle size, which makes them more effective than traditional fertilisers.
Nano Urea Liquid:
  • Nano urea liquid is a type of nano fertiliser that was developed in 2022 by the Indian Farmers and Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO).
  • The liquid is made up of urea and other micronutrients, which are encapsulated in nano-sized polymer coatings.
  • The coating helps in the controlled release of the nutrients, ensuring that the crops receive a steady supply of nutrients over time.
  • The primary benefit of using nano urea liquid is that it can replace conventional urea and reduce its requirement by 50%.
  • This is because nano urea liquid is more efficient, and the crops require a smaller quantity of it to meet their nutrient requirements.

Significance of Nano Fertilisers in Agriculture:

Nano fertilisers have the potential to revolutionize the agriculture industry with their numerous benefits, some of which are listed below:

  • Reduce Losses: Nano fertilisers use nanoscale porous domains on plant surfaces to deliver nutrients, which improves the effectiveness of nitrogen delivery and reduces losses to the environment. This leads to a more efficient use of fertilisers and helps in reducing environmental pollution.
  • Increase Farmers’ Income: Nano fertilisers are cost-effective and easy on the pocket of farmers, which can significantly increase their income. It can also reduce the cost of logistics and warehousing. For example, a small bottle of 500 millilitres of nano urea spray is said to be a substitute for a full bag of 45 kilogrammes of conventional urea.
  • Making Crops Stronger: Nano fertilisers reduce the excess use of conventional fertilisers and make crops stronger and healthier. They also protect crops from the lodging effect, which is the bending over of the stems near ground level of grain crops, making them very difficult to harvest and can dramatically reduce yield.

Challenges Associated with Nano Fertilizers:

  • High Cost: The advanced technology and production methods used for producing nano-fertilizers make them expensive compared to conventional fertilizers. As a result, small farmers may find it unaffordable, limiting their access to this technology.
  • Quality Control: Strict quality control measures are necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of nano-fertilizers. However, the absence of standardized regulations for their production and distribution has resulted in poor quality control and inconsistent outcomes.
  • Environmental Concerns: The long-term effects of nano-fertilizers on soil health, water quality, and ecosystem balance raise environmental concerns. Proper testing and regulation are essential to ensure the sustainable use of these fertilizers.
  • Regulatory Framework: The development and usage of nano-fertilizers require a comprehensive regulatory framework to ensure their safe and sustainable use. The lack of a robust regulatory framework has led to confusion and uncertainty among farmers and policymakers.
  • Limited Research: The research on the long-term effects of nano-fertilizers is limited. More research is necessary to fully understand the impact of these fertilizers on the environment and human health.

-Source: Down To Earth


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