Fertiliser major IFFCO on Sunday introduced its 'nano-technology' based products - nano nitrogen, nano zinc and nano copper for on- field trials as part of its efforts to cut usage of chemical fertilisers and boost farmers' income.
These environment-friendly products have been introduced for the first time in India and have potential to reduce usage of conventional chemical fertilisers by 50 per cent besides raising crop output by 15-30 per cent, IFFCO said in a statement.
These nano products were launched at an event held at its unit in Kalol, Gujarat by Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Sadananda Gowda.
Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) and Chemicals & Fertilizers; Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture; and Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister, Gujarat, were also present at the event.
IFFCO also invited progressive farmers (34 in total) from each and every state of India including Padma Shri awardee farmers for the event in order to introduce them to the new nano products and start simultaneous field trials of these products across India.
These products have been researched and developed indigenously at the IFFCO Nano Biotechnology Research Centre (NBRC) at Kalol Unit.
These nano-structured formulations effectively deliver nutrients to the plants.
Listing out other benefits, IFFCO said these nano products help in reduction in the requirement of conventional chemical fertilizer by 50 per cent, raise crop production by 15-30 per cent, improves soil health and cuts emission of greenhouse gases.
"This step will certainly complement to the vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji for doubling the farmer's income by 2022," Gowda was quoted as saying.
IFFCO managing director U S Awasthi said, "In the first phase of the launch these products will be tested on farms under controlled conditions with support from ICAR/KVK."
Nano-nitrogen, which is developed as an alternative to urea, has the potential to cut the requirement of urea by 50 per cent.
Only 10 gm of nano-zinc would be sufficient for a hectare of land and would bring the requirement of NPK fertilizer down by 50 per cent.
Nano-copper provides both nutrition and protection to the plant. It boosts the plants immunity against harmful pathogens and helps increase the activity of plant growth hormone and improves overall plant growth and development, Awasthi said.
Post the introduction of the initial range of nano-products, IFFCO aims to introduce newer products in its nano-product range.
Apart from single nutrients, its NBRC lab is also in the process of developing several nutrient combinations as well in the future.
Founded in 1967, IFFCO is an amalgamation of over 35,000 cooperatives. It has five fertilisers plants in India and is also into general insurance, food processing and organic food businesses.