Government notifies use of nano urea for 3 years despite row over efficiency

Nano urea, in liquid form, provides plants with essential Nitrogen, critical for producing amino acids, pigments, enzymes, and genetic material.
Government notifies use of nano urea for 3 years despite row over efficiency

NEW DELHI: The Union government on Wednesday notified the use of Nano Urea Plus for a period of three years. The use of Nano Urea has been controversial due to its claim of efficiency and inadequate field trials.

Several reports have indicated that farmers are dissatisfied with its use as it reduces production. Nano urea, in liquid form, provides plants with essential Nitrogen, critical for producing amino acids, pigments, enzymes, and genetic material.

The notification provides specifications for Nano Urea (liquid) 16, to be manufactured by M/s IFFCO in India for three years. IFFCO, a multi-state cooperative society engaged in fertilizer manufacturing and marketing, expressed happiness over the government’s decision to notify its advanced product. They believe it will help increase crop production, promote sustainable farming, and save a significant amount on fertilizer subsidies.

Dr. U S Awasthi, CEO of IFFCO, stated on social media that “IFFCO nano-urea plus is an advanced nano urea formulation redefined to meet crops’ nitrogen requirement at critical growth phases.” He further explained its benefits in promoting soil health, farmer profitability, sustainable environment, and enhancing micronutrient availability and efficiency.

“IFFCO’s Nano Urea Plus represents an innovative formulation of Nano Urea, redefining nutritional standards to fulfill crop nitrogen requirements during critical growth phases.” Awasthi said on X that this advanced product serves as a substitute for conventional urea and other nitrogenous fertilisers, fostering soil health, farmer profitability, and a sustainable environment.

He further emphasized that Nano Urea Plus not only enhances the availability and efficiency of micronutrients but also acts as a chlorophyll charger, boosts yields, and facilitates climate-smart farming practices.

On 26 April 2023, Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, launched IFFCO Nano DAP (Liquid) in New Delhi. He encouraged farmers to use liquid Nano Urea and DAP instead of granular forms.

The cost of nano-urea is Rs 225 and nano-DAP is Rs 600 per 500 ml bottle, while granular urea costs Rs 266.50 per 50 kg bag, and DAP costs Rs 1,350 per 50 kg bag.

Some scientists fear reprisals and are hesitant to speak on record, as the Union government aggressively promotes nano-urea products.

However, Dr. N.K. Tomar, retired Professor of Soil Science at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University, termed the product unscientific and ineffective compared to conventional urea, potentially threatening India’s food security. He highlighted the lack of proper scientific studies and field trial documentation to measure the efficacy of nano urea, stating that at least three years of testing are required to draw conclusions.

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