Cost advantages – Nano-fertilisers will reduce subsidy outgo

Source: The post is based on the article “Cost advantages – Nano-fertilisers will reduce subsidy outgo” published in the Business Standard on 5th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies.

Relevance: About Nano-fertilisers.

News: DAP is the second-most consumed fertiliser in India. After the success of nano-urea, the nano version of DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) has now cleared the bio-safety and toxicity trials.

Nano-fertilisers are so far commercialised only in India. Further, more nano varieties of fertilisers are under development and will become available for commercial use soon.

Read more: PM inaugurated One Nation One Fertilizer Scheme
What are the benefits of nano-fertilisers?

Benefits to government: a) Reduce dependence on imports, b) Reduce government subsidies for essential plant nutrients, c) Aid in the self-sufficiency of fertilisers over the next few years, d) Provide cushion against international prices. For instance, in the aftermath of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, there is a spike in the international prices of plant nutrients. This led to rise in fertiliser subsidies to an all-time high of over Rs 2.3 trillion in India.

Benefits to farmers: a) Provide higher nutrient-use efficiency and help augment soil fertility to boost crop yields and improve the quality of farm produce. For instance, the efficiency, yield increase of nano-urea is more than 80% (about double that of conventional urea) and 3-16% respectively, and b) 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, c) These are substantially cheaper and more effective than normal fertilisers.

Overall, these nano-fertilisers would facilitate a substantial reduction in crop production costs and an improvement in the profitability of farming.

Environmental benefits: Conventional fertilisers are typically potent polluters of air, soil, and water. On the other hand, nano-fertilisers have low environmental footprint. They are non-toxic and harmless to health and natural biodiversity. So, they will help to cut down the agriculture sector’s greenhouse gas emissions to a considerable extent.

Read more: Draft Integrated Plant Nutrition Management Bill, 2022

Therefore, promoting nano-fertilisers is a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

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