After the success of nano-urea, the nano version of DAP (di-ammonium phosphate), the second-most consumed fertiliser, has now cleared the bio-safety and toxicity trials, paving the way for its formal approval for field use from the next kharif season.


How is it significant?

  • These innovative and indigenously developed liquid fertilisers can prove a game-changer by reducing the dependence on imports and government subsidies for essential plant nutrients.
  • In fact, the country might even look forward to becoming, more or less, self-sufficient in fertilisers over the next few years when the nano varieties of more fertilisers, now under development, become available for commercial use.
  • That would help drastically slash, if not eliminate, the outgo on fertiliser subsidies, which are set to swell this year to an all-time high of over Rs 2.3 trillion, thanks to the spike in the international prices of plant nutrients in the aftermath of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Even in the last fiscal year, the fertiliser subsidy bill was as high as around Rs 1.6 trillion.



Significantly, the hi-tech nano-fertilisers, which are so far commercialised only in India, offer multiple advantages apart from being substantially cheaper and more effective than normal fertilisers without any fiscal dole from the government.

  • High nutrition content — They have higher nutrient-use efficiency and help augment soil fertility to boost crop yields and improve the quality of farm produce. The efficiency of nano-urea, for instance, has been assessed through field trials at more than 80 per cent, which is about double that of conventional urea.
  • Increase in yield — The yield increase as a result of its use is estimated at anywhere between 3 and 16 per cent, translating into an additional income of between Rs 2,400 and Rs 5,700 per acre for farmers.
  • More quantity at lower costs — A bottle of nano-urea containing 500 ml of liquid fertiliser is priced at Rs 240, which is marginally lower than even the heavily subsidised cost of a 45-kg bag of granular urea containing the same amount of nitrogen. The nano-DAP is envisaged to be priced at Rs 600 per bottle, which would be equivalent to a 50-kg bag of regular DAP, costing farmers around Rs 1,350 after a hefty discount of over Rs 2,000.
  • Less transportation costs — Besides, nano-fertilisers, being liquids packed in small bottles, are convenient to carry, thereby enabling the farmers to save on the cost of transporting bulky conventional fertilisers. Thus, these fertilisers would facilitate substantial reduction in crop production costs and improvement in the profitability of farming.
  • Low environment footprint — A significant, but least hyped, advantage of nano-fertilisers is their low environmental footprint compared to that of conventional fertilisers, which are typically potent polluters of air, soil, and water. Being non-toxic and harmless to health and natural biodiversity, these fertilisers would help cut the agriculture sector’s greenhouse gas emissions to a considerable extent.



Given all these plus points of nano-fertilisers vis-a-vis their conventional counterparts, the need for their promotion cannot be overstressed. Their greater use would, indeed, be a win-win situation for all stakeholders, notably the farmers, who would save on input costs, and the government, which would have to shell out lower subsidies on fertilisers.


SourceBusiness Standard


QUESTION – What are nano-fertilisers? How would they help the farmers, government and environment as a whole? Discuss in brief.