• Nano urea, a fertilizer patented and sold by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd. (IFFCO), has been approved by the government for commercial use.


What is nano urea?

  • Ramesh Raliya is credited as the inventor of nano urea and is currently a consultant with IFFCO.
  • The nano urea contains nitrogen, an element critical for plant development which is present in the form of granules.
  • The chemically processed urea has a composition of 46% nitrogen in it but it is a matter of fact that nano urea sold in 500-ml bottles has only 4% nitrogen in it.
  • Plants need nitrogen to make protein and they source almost all of it from soil bacteria which live in a plant’s roots and have the ability to break down atmospheric nitrogen, or that from chemicals such as urea into a form usable by plants.


What is the concern?

  • Nitrogen is very much essential to get substantial yields, it is estimated that to produce one tonne of wheat grain, a plant needs 25 kg of nitrogen.
  • This is also similar with respect to rice and maize which require 20 kg of nitrogen & 30 kg of nitrogen
  • So, there is concern in the scientific community that total attempt is futile and causing sheer wastage of money.
  • As urea is highly soluble in water and will have very low concentration when it is absorbed further increases the apprehension.


Way Forward:

  • The usual practice of farmers throwing the coarse particles onto the soil during sowing is less effective when compared to foliar spraying (spraying on leaves) is the argument.
  • Because the nano particle form of nano urea, when applied on to the leaves, stimulates enzymes such as nitrase and nitrite reductase, which help plants metabolize nitrogen.

And moreover, the approval of its commercial use will substantially reduce the import bill.



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