Despite being fast tracked for commercial application, nano-urea has yet to be fully tested. Nano-urea approval was granted in February 2021. Nano-urea is developed by the Indian Farmers and Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) and promoted by the government as a panacea to reduce farmer reliance on packaged urea.


What is ‘nano urea’?

  • Nano Urea is a nutrient to provide nitrogen to plants as an alternative to the conventional urea.
  • Nano Urea Liquid can curtail the requirement of the same by at least 50%.
  • It contains 40,000 ppm of nitrogen in a 500 ml bottle which is equivalent to the impact of nitrogen nutrient provided by one bag of conventional urea.
  • Nano nitrogen (Nano Urea) can enhance farmers crop yields beside nitrogen saving to the extent of 50%.


What is liquid nano urea, and how does it work?

  • It is essentially urea in the form of a nanoparticle. Urea is a chemical nitrogen fertiliser, white in colour, which artificially provides nitrogen, a major nutrient required by plants.
  • The product has been developed at IFFCOs Nano Biotechnology Research Centre (NBRC) at Kalol. Apart from reducing the country’s subsidy bill, it is aimed at reducing the unbalanced and indiscriminate use of conventional urea, increase crop productivity, and reduce soil, water, and air pollution.
  • While conventional urea has an efficiency of about 25 per cent, the efficiency of liquid nano urea can be as high as 85-90 per cent. Conventional urea fails to have the desired impact on crops as it is often applied incorrectly, and the nitrogen in it is vaporised or lost as gas. A lot of nitrogen is also washed away during irrigation.
  • Liquid nano urea is sprayed directly on the leaves and gets absorbed by the plant. Fertilisers in nano form provide a targeted supply of nutrients to crops, as they are absorbed by the stomata, pores found on the epidermis of leaves,. IFFCO advises that 2-4 ml of nano urea should be mixed a litre of water and sprayed on crop leaves at active growth stages.
  • Liquid nano urea has a shelf life of a year, and farmers need not be worried about “caking” when it comes in contact with moisture.
  • According to IFFCO, liquid nano urea contains 4 per cent total nitrogen (w/v) evenly dispersed in water. The size of a nano nitrogen particle varies from 20-50 nm. (A nanometre is equal to a billionth of a metre.)



  • Increasing use of liquid nano urea will result in economic savings to the farmers, increase productivity and reduce India’s dependence on urea imports.
  • This will also reduce the subsidy burden on the government and the government will be able to use this savings on other public welfare schemes.
  • IFFCO in its study has found that spraying nano urea through drones is more effective on crops and will also have a positive effect on productivity.