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Interviews

In Conversation with State Marketing Manager of IFFCO State Office (UP)

Abhimanyu Rai, State Marketing Manager of IFFCO State Office (UP)
Abhimanyu Rai, State Marketing Manager of IFFCO State Office (UP)

IFFCO, or Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited, is a multi-state cooperative society. Cooperative Societies of India owns 100% of IFFCO. The society is in the fertiliser manufacturing and marketing business. Started in 1967 with 57 member cooperatives, it is now the world's largest co-op by turnover on GDP per capita (according to World Cooperative Monitor 2021), with around 35,000 member cooperatives reaching over 50 million Indian farmers.

Krishi Jagran Team visited IFFCO State Office (Gokhle Marg, Lucknow) to speak with Abhimanyu Rai, State Marketing Manager (IFFCO), and learn more about the company's innovative product, 'Nano Urea.' He is in charge of managing fertilizer supply across the state, as well as overseeing IFFCO's farmer welfare programmes.

1. Tell me about IFFCO's initiatives & products aimed at addressing India's fertilizer shortage.

UP is the largest agrarian state in the country, as well as the largest consumer of fertilizers. Up to 96 lakh metric tonnes of urea, NPK, and DAP have been consumed. IFFCO Fertilizers account for about 40 lakh tonnes of this total. As a result, farmers trust IFFCO Fertilizer products.

Nano Urea, developed by IFFCO, is the world's first of its kind. This liquid fertilizer was developed in India and is expected to revolutionize the fertilizer market in the country.

After conducting 11,000 field trials on over 43 crops under the National Agriculture Research System (NARS), 20 ICAR research institutes, KVKs (Krishi Vigyan Kendras), and state agriculture universities, this liquid urea was included in the Government of India's Fertilizer Control Order. The results revealed an average yield increase of 7-8 percent "plants."

Nano urea is an indigenous product developed at the IFFCO's Nano Biotechnology Research Center (NBRC) in Kalol, Gujarat, using proprietary technology. Nano urea production began commercially in August 2021. We sold approximately 2,130,0000 bottles across India, with 41 lakh bottles sold in Uttar Pradesh alone. Our goal for this year is to sell approximately 1,8500000 bottles.

2. What are the advantages of Nano Urea over conventional urea?

  • This is 10% less expensive than a bag of regular urea. Traditional urea can be replaced with nano urea. It has the potential to reduce urea consumption by 50%.

  • The nitrogen content of a 500 mL bottle of nano urea is 40,000 ppm (parts per million). This is the same amount of nitrogen as one whole bag of traditional urea.

  • It is also beneficial to the government because there is no subsidy for Nano urea, which reduces the government's expenditure on grants for traditional fertilizers.

3. How would it be beneficial to the environment?

Nano urea is a sustainable solution for crop nutrition. It will promote balanced soil nutrition by reducing the overuse of traditional urea, making plants healthier, stronger, and protecting them from the effects of lodging. As with traditional urea, only 30% is used by plants, while the remaining 70% is wasted and pollutes the environment. It evaporates in the atmosphere as Nitrous Oxide and Ammonia, and the remaining unused urea mixes into groundwater as Nitrate and pollutes it.

4. What are your thoughts on the use of organic fertilizers?

Farmers must use organic fertilizers in addition to chemical fertilizers to increase the soil's microbial population. Green manure and organic manure should be encouraged to increase soil organic matter. Farmers must also consider the composition of micronutrients in order to keep the soil healthy.

(Author- Shivam Dwivedi)

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