Earlier this year, the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) announced its plans to start commercial production of ‘nano urea liquid’. Let’s look at the role of the man behind this invention that has the potential to revolutionise the agriculture sector worldwide.
Crux of the Matter
What’s Conventional Urea?
Conventional granular urea has a high nitrogen content of 46%, which is good for plant growth. Urea forms 82% of the total nitrogenous fertilisers consumed in India, with an annual consumption of 33.6 million tonnes in 2019-20.
What’s The Problem With It?
In its traditional application, more than 70% of the urea is not absorbed by the plants and is wasted. Also, the soil becomes acidic and the runoff pollutes the water quality.
What’s Great About Nano Urea?
It is like an intravenous injection for the leaves rather than a capsule repellent through the soil. So a 500ml nanourea bottle will work the same as a 45 kg urea bag.
Has It Been Tested In India?
Yes! For over 40 crops in over 11,000 locations, nano urea showed 24% increase in the quality of fruits and vegetables. It also improved biomass and soil health.
Who Is The Man Behind It?
Dr Ramesh Raliya is a Research Scientist at Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University. He is also the co-founder of Smart Aerosol Technologies, RASTA, USA, and Academy of Translational Research, India.
Dr Raliya licensed his invention free of charge for giving Indian farmers access to it at a low cost.
I’m from a farmer [family] and have seen the hardships of farming first hand. I grew up believing that what you do for your country and community is more important than your personal ambitions. Some global farming companies are enthusiastic about buying licenses and have offered attractive royalties and 6-digit salary jobs. But my prerequisite is that farmers use nano urea, at the lowest possible price.
Dr Ramesh Raliya
When Can We Expect It?
IFFCO, one of India's largest fertiliser manufacturers, stared the production of Nano Urea in June 2021.
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) was founded on 3rd November, 1967 with just 57 cooperatives. Today, it has more than 36,000 Indian Cooperatives that reach more than 55 million farmers in India.