From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Liquid Nano Urea (LNU)
Mains level : India's fertilizer subsidy
During his visit to Gujarat, Prime Minister inaugurated the country’s first liquid nano urea plant at Kalol.
Liquid Nano Urea (LNU)
- Urea is chemical nitrogen fertiliser, white in colour, which artificially provides nitrogen, a major nutrient required by plants.
- LNU is essentially urea in the form of a nanoparticle.
- It 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.
- 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.)
Significance of LNU
- This patented product is expected to not only substitute imported urea, but to also produce better results in farms.
- Apart from reducing the country’s subsidy bill, it is aimed at reducing the unbalanced and indiscriminate use of conventional urea.
- It will help increase crop productivity, and reduce soil, water, and air pollution.
- The liquid nano urea produced by Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) Limited comes in a half-litre bottle priced at Rs 240, and carries no burden of subsidy currently.
- By contrast, a farmer pays around Rs 300 for a 50-kg bag of heavily subsidised urea.
- According to IFFCO, a bottle of the nano urea can effectively replace at least one bag of urea.
How efficient is LNU?
- 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 vaporized or lost as a gas.
- A lot of nitrogen is also washed away during irrigation.
- 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.