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Government Allows 100% Production of Neem Coated Urea
Jan 09, 2015

The Government has taken steps to encourage production and availability of fortified and coated urea in the country. In this regard, the restrictions to produce Neem coated urea have been removed. The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has decided to remove cap of 35 percent on Neem-coated urea.

What is Coated Urea?

Urea is widely used as a nitrogen fertilizer. Its high solubility in water makes it useful for liquid application, and it has a much lower risk of causing fertilizer burn than other chemicals.

  • Coated urea fertilizers are a group of controlled release fertilizers consisting of prills of coated in less-soluble chemicals, other products or a combination. These fertilizers mitigate some of the negative aspects of urea fertilization, such as fertilizer burn.

  • The coatings release the urea either when penetrated by water, as with sulfur, or when broken down, as with polymers.

  • Sulfur-coated urea release nitrogen via water penetration through cracks and micropores in the coating.

  • Polymer-coated urea can permit a more precise rate of nitrogen release than sulfur-coated urea products.

Why Neem Coated Urea?

  • Neem coated urea will not only increase crop yields but also lower input cost to farmers.

  • Use of Neem coated urea will give impetus to agriculture sector and it will increase yield by 10 percent on an average.

  • At present, India is importing about 71 lakh Metric Ton (MT) urea. It will also reduce imports of precious fertilizers as well as reduce ground and soil pollution.

  • India is using only 60 lakh MT. Neem coated urea which can be increased to full demand of 310 lakh MT in the country.

  • Neem coated urea is costly by 5 percent compared to plain prilled urea but it reduces Nitrogen loss by more than 10 percent, thereby incurring a net savings of Rs. 13.50 per bag for farmers.

  • Due to higher nitrogen use efficiency, the use of nitrogen coated urea can also eliminate import of urea resulting in huge foreign exchange savings.

  • Farmers will also get advantage of better yield, less pest attack due to less use of urea which will also ensure better NPK use ratio and balanced use of fertilizers.

  • Earlier, production of neem-coated urea was allowed only up to 35 percent of the total capacity of the plant.

  • India produces about 22 million tonnes of urea and imports about 8-9 million tonnes to meet the shortfall.

  • About 20-25 percent of indigenous urea is neem-coated.

  • Farmers are using excessive urea as it is highly subsidised by the government. Neem-coated urea would lead to balanced use of fertilizers.

The Government also has plan to  make country become self-sufficient in urea production in the next five years as the Centre has taken steps for revival of 5 closed urea plants and set up new one.


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