urea: Shortage of urea, DAP bolsters demand for complex fertilisers in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The shortage of chemical fertilisers diammonium phosphate (DAP) and urea in Karnataka has amplified the demand for complex ones.
Complex fertilisers consist of two or more nutrient components, mainly NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), and in some cases small amounts of sulfur, magnesium and trace elements like boron may be added.
DAP and urea are the most popular fertilisers among farmers in the state, though they harm the fertility of soil in the long run.
According to agriculture department data, there has been a 30% increase in complex fertiliser usage when compared to the previous year.
While in 2019-20, Karnataka saw nearly 7.6 lakh metric tonnes of complex fertilisers being used, the number climbed to over 10 lakh metric tonnes by 2020-21. As of September 2021, it had touched over 11 lakh MT. Karnataka uses 152 kilograms of chemical fertilisers per hectare, while neighbouring Kerala uses barely 36 kilos.
“The usage of complex fertilisers has crossed one-third of our fiscal demand in just one month this year, suggesting that more and more farmers are shifting towards them,” said agriculture commissioner Brijesh Kumar Dikshit.
Department data shows Raichur district used the highest amount of complex fertilisers (nearly 1.2 lakh MT) followed by Ballari (over 1 lakh MT) and Davangere (88,290 MT). The lowest usage was in Udupi (3,209 MT) and Bengaluru Urban (5,319 MT).
Demand for an efficient version of urea — nano urea — has also grown. According to agriculture department joint director Venkataramanareddy Patil, of the 5.1 lakh bottles of nano urea which were available, 3.7 lakh were sold.
“The use of nano urea has also increased considerably in the more arid districts of Koppal, Raichur and Ballari with close to 40,000 bottles being sold,” he said. A 500ml bottle of nano urea is equivalent to 45 kilos or one bag of urea.
“The other use of nano urea is in terms of subsidy savings by the government, which gives about Rs 450 to Rs 500 per bag of urea. A nano urea bottle will be less than half the rate,” said an agriculture department official.
Earlier last year, the shortfall of DAP and urea had caused trouble to farmers, who rued the Centre and state government’s failure to provide the requisite bags.
The Covid situation played havoc with supply and farmers were forced to switch to more local fertilisers which are said to be high in balanced elements required for Indian soil. There are 17 different combinations of complex fertilisers in the market, and farmers can customise their requirements as per the soil and crop needs.

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Sagar Biswas

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