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PM Modi to inaugurate fertiliser plant in Telangana tomorrow

Nov 11, 2022 03:13 AM IST

PM Modi will inaugurate a plant of Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd in Telangana on November 12, which is expected to add 1.2 million tonne of indigenous urea production capacity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a plant of Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd in Telangana on November 12, which is expected to add 1.2 million tonne of indigenous urea production capacity, part of a plan to cut dependency on imports in four years, said an official familiar with the matter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE)

India is hoping to end its reliance on imported urea within the next four years by expanding output of a locally developed version of the key crop nutrient, known as nano urea, the official said asking not to be named. Self-sufficiency in urea will save the government nearly 40,000 crore, the official added.

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The country’s food security is closely linked to sufficient availability of a range of fertilisers, which are federally subsidised for millions of farmers.

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India, the world’s largest buyer of urea and di-ammonium phosphate, has been hit by a sharp rise in global fertiliser prices this year due to supply disruptions. Costlier raw materials, higher freight charges as well as sanctions on Russia, a major fertiliser exporter, are likely to keep prices elevated, according to a Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report.

Prices of some crop nutrients have stabilised in the past two months from multi-year highs earlier.

Higher domestic output of conventional urea plus indigenously developed nano urea will be sufficient to replace the entire imported quantity of urea, according to projections of the Mansukh-Mandaviya-headed ministry of chemicals and fertilizers.

According to the ministry’s calculations, domestically produced nano urea, whose patent is held by the fertiliser cooperative IFFCO, will replace approximately 20 million tonne of conventional urea imports each year.IFFCO is the country’s largest crop nutrient cooperative.

India started nano urea production on August 1 2021. Nano urea is a locally developed highly efficient form of the plant nutrient which fulfils nitrogen requirement in crops. One 500 ml bottle of the nano variant is equivalent to one bag of conventional urea.

Eight new nano urea plants, which are being centrally monitored, will start production by November 2025. These are located in several states, including Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Assam, according to the official.

According to the ministry’s projections, the eight plants will approximately produce 440 million nano urea bottles per annum which will be equivalent to 20 million tonne of conventional urea. “When this milestone is achieved, the country’s dependence on imports will end,” the official mentioned above said, asking not to be named.

Six upcoming conventional urea plants with the capacity of about 1.3 million tonne each will also help to achieve the self-sufficiency milestone by 2024-2025. These will be commissioned this year at Barauni and Sindhri, said the official.

To boost the indigenous production of nano urea, two central public sector undertakings — National Fertilizers Limited and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd — have signed non-disclosure agreements and memorandums of understanding with IFFCO, which holds the proprietary rights, to transfer the technology of nano urea.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Zia Haq reports on public policy, economy and agriculture. Particularly interested in development economics and growth theories.

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