Nano DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) refers to a nano-formulated fertilizer variant of the conventional DAP fertilizer, which is widely used to provide essential nutrients, namely phosphorus and nitrogen, to plants. Read here to learn more about the significance of it.
The nanotechnology in fertilizers is a part of the broader field of nano-agriculture, which aims to enhance nutrient use efficiency, reduce the requirement of chemical inputs, minimize environmental impact, and increase crop yields through the precise delivery of nutrients at the molecular level.
Recently, the finance minister in the Interim Budget 2024-25 has announced the expansion of the application of Nano DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) as a Fertilizer on various crops in all agro-climatic zones.
In 2023 Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) launched its Nano DAP, containing 8% Nitrogen and 16% Phosphorus by volume.
- IFFCO Nano DAP is an efficient source of available nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P205) for all the crops and helps in correcting the Nitrogen & Phosphorus deficiencies in standing crops.
- Nano DAP formulation contains Nitrogen (8.0% N w/v) and Phosphorus (16.0 % P205 w/v).
- Nano DAP (Liquid) has an advantage in terms of surface area to volume as its particle size is less than 100 Nanometre (nm).
- This unique property enables it to enter easily inside the seed surface or through stomata and other plant openings.
- Nano clusters of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Nano DAP are functionalized with bio-polymers and other excipients.
- Better spreadability and assimilation of Nano DAP inside the plant system leads to higher seed vigor, more chlorophyll, photosynthetic efficiency, better quality, and an increase in crop yields.
- Apart from this, Nano DAP through precision and targeted application fulfills the nutritional requirement of crops without harming the environment.
Key Features of Nano DAP
- Increased Efficiency: Nano DAP is designed to have a higher efficiency rate compared to traditional fertilizers. Its nano-sized particles allow for better dissolution and absorption by plant roots, ensuring that plants receive the right amount of nutrients at the right time.
- Reduced Usage: The enhanced efficiency of nano DAP means that farmers can use significantly less fertilizer to achieve the same, if not better, results. This reduction in usage can lead to lower costs and decreased environmental impact.
- Environmental Benefits: By reducing the amount of fertilizer needed, nano DAP can help lower the risk of runoff into water bodies, which is a major cause of eutrophication and harmful algal blooms. Its targeted delivery system also minimizes the leaching of nutrients into the soil, reducing soil and water pollution.
- Improved Crop Yields: The precise delivery of nutrients and improved absorption efficiency can lead to healthier plants and potentially higher crop yields, benefiting farmers’ productivity and profitability.
- Sustainability: Nano DAP aligns with the goals of sustainable agriculture by promoting the efficient use of resources and reducing the environmental footprint of farming practices.
Development and Usage
The development of nano DAP involves the application of nanotechnology in agriculture, which is a growing field of research and innovation.
- Nano fertilizers like nano DAP are part of an emerging trend aimed at addressing the challenges of increasing agricultural productivity while ensuring environmental sustainability.
- However, the adoption of nano DAP and similar technologies is subject to regulatory approvals, safety assessments, and cost considerations.
- Research is ongoing to fully understand the long-term impacts of nano fertilizers on soil health, microbial communities, and the broader ecosystem.
- Regulation and Safety: There is a need for comprehensive regulatory frameworks to ensure the safe development, usage, and disposal of nano fertilizers. Assessing their long-term environmental and health impacts is crucial.
- Cost: Initially, the cost of nano DAP may be higher than traditional fertilizers due to the advanced technology and production processes involved. However, its efficiency and lower usage rates can offset these costs over time.
- Awareness and Adoption: Farmers and agricultural stakeholders need to be made aware of the benefits and proper usage of nano fertilizers. Training and education are key to ensuring that these new technologies are used effectively and responsibly.
- Research and Development: Continued research and development are essential to optimize the formulations, delivery mechanisms, and application methods of nano DAP and to explore its full potential and limitations.
- Nutrient imbalance: Nano formulations may modify the nutrient balance in soil and plants, potentially affecting crop growth and development. This imbalance could result in deficiencies or toxicities of certain nutrients, impacting overall yield and quality.
Macro and micronutrients for plant growth
For optimal growth, health, and productivity, plants require a balanced intake of both macronutrients and micronutrients. These nutrients serve various critical functions in plant physiology, affecting everything from root development and photosynthesis to flowering and fruiting.
Macronutrients are required by plants in larger quantities than micronutrients. They are fundamental to plant growth and are often the focus of fertilization programs. Macronutrients are divided into primary and secondary categories.
- Nitrogen (N): Essential for vegetative growth, nitrogen is a key component of chlorophyll, the molecule responsible for photosynthesis. It’s also a part of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
- Phosphorus (P): Important for energy transfer within the plant, phosphorus plays a critical role in the formation of DNA, RNA, and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), and is vital for root development, flowering, and fruiting.
- Potassium (K): Crucial for water uptake and retention, potassium aids in protein synthesis, photosynthesis, and enzyme activation. It also helps plants resist drought and diseases.
- Calcium (Ca): Important for cell wall structure and stability, calcium is also crucial in cell division and growth, and helps in nutrient uptake and signaling within the plant.
- Magnesium (Mg): A central component of chlorophyll, magnesium is essential for photosynthesis and enzyme activation. It plays a role in phosphorus utilization and plant respiration.
- Sulfur (S): Integral to the formation of amino acids, vitamins, and enzymes, sulfur is also necessary for protein synthesis and plays a role in plant growth and disease resistance.
Micronutrients are required by plants in much smaller quantities than macronutrients but are equally vital to plant health and development. They often act as cofactors in enzyme processes.
- Iron (Fe): Necessary for chlorophyll synthesis and functioning as a component of many enzymes, iron plays a role in energy transfer within the plant.
- Manganese (Mn): Involved in enzyme activation, manganese is essential for photosynthesis, respiration, and nitrogen assimilation.
- Boron (B): Important for cell wall formation and stability, boron is also crucial in reproductive development, seed and fruit development, and nutrient transport.
- Zinc (Zn): Plays a significant role in protein synthesis, growth regulation, and development of the plant. It’s also important for enzyme activation.
- Copper (Cu): Essential for photosynthesis and respiratory enzyme systems, copper also plays a role in lignin synthesis and is important for metabolism.
- Molybdenum (Mo): Crucial for nitrogen fixation in legumes and in the conversion of nitrates into amino acids within the plant.
- Chloride (Cl): Important for osmosis and ionic balance, chloride also plays a role in photosynthesis.
Nano DAP represents a promising advancement in agricultural fertilizers, offering a way to enhance nutrient use efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and support sustainable farming practices. Its successful integration into agriculture depends on overcoming regulatory, cost, and educational barriers, as well as ensuring that it is safe and beneficial in the long term.
-Article by Swathi Satish