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Nano-DAP in the aid of farmers - IAS Academy in Coimbatore

Why in news: Centre has recently notified nano Di-Ammonia Phosphate (DAP) in the Fertilizer Control Order, allowing its commercial release for farmers.

About Nano DAP:

  • Nano-DAP is jointly manufactured by IFFCO in association with a private player Coromandel and is expected to contribute to bringing down the annual subsidy on non-urea fertilizers.
  • DAP is a type of fertiliser that contains both nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • Nano DAP is a variation of DAP that has been modified at the nano-scale to improve its effectiveness in agriculture to enhance crop growth and yield.
  • It is produced by reducing the size of the DAP particles to the nano-scale (1-100 nanometres).
  • The small size of the particles allows for better absorption of the fertiliser by plant roots, resulting in increased crop growth and yield.
  • It is more efficient than traditional DAP, which means that less fertiliser is needed to achieve the same results.

Significance of Nano DAP for India:

  • Nitrogen Use Efficiency: Nano-DAP has a high nutrient use efficiency of more than 85%, which helps to fulfil the nitrogen requirement of plants.
  • Cost Advantage: Nano-DAP is expected to be priced at around half the subsidized rate of traditional DAP, thus providing cost advantages to farmers.
  • Better crop quality: The use of Nano-DAP is expected to improve crop quality, leading to better prices for farmers.
  • Contribution to reducing subsidies: With the inclusion of Nano-DAP in the Fertilizer Control Order, it is expected to bring down the annual subsidy on non-urea fertilizers.
  • Reduction in Chemical Fertilizers: Nano-DAP can help reduce the injudicious use of chemical fertilizers like urea by 50%, thus promoting efficient use of plant chemicals.
  • Increase in Farmer Income: Nano-DAP is expected to lead to an increase in farmer income by reducing input costs, increasing crop yield, and improving crop quality.

Issues associated with Nano-DAP:

  • Cost: While Nano-DAP is expected to be cost-effective in the long run, the initial investment can be higher for farmers who may not have the resources to invest in new fertilizers.
  • Awareness and education: The government and private sector will need to invest in educating farmers about the benefits of the new fertilizer and how to use it correctly.
  • Limited availability: The production of Nano-DAP is currently limited and may not be sufficient to meet the demand of all farmers across India.
  • Infrastructure: The government and private sector will need to invest in building the necessary infrastructure to ensure that the fertilizer reaches farmers in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Resistance: While Nano-DAP is expected to be more efficient than traditional fertilizers, farmers will need to use it responsibly to prevent resistance from developing.

What need to be done:

Nano DAP is a promising technology that has the potential to revolutionize the agriculture industry, especially for a country like India which needs to ensure food security for its billion-plus population. However, further research is needed to fully understand these risks and ensure that the benefits of this technology outweigh any potential drawbacks. Thus, Overall, Nano DAP presents a promising solution for improving crop productivity and addressing food security challenges around the world.