Fertilizer Development- concept, scope, need, resource
Import and export avenue of fertilizer
Types of fertilizer
Grading and chemical constituent of fertilizers
Role of fertilizer in agricultural production
Production and consumption of fertilizers in India
“Wiothout manure, the rice plant grow but do not bear acrop”-
PARASAR, 1300 B. C.
Management of soil fertility has been the pre-occupation of
farmers for thousands of years.
The start of the modern science of plant nutrition dates to the
19th century and the work of German chemist Justus Von Leibig,
(Law of Restitution)
(For maintenance of soil fertility, the replacement of the nutrients
removed from the soi by the crop was essential)
The secret of rapid agricultural progress in the under
developed countries is to be found much more in agricultural
extension, in fertilizers, in new seeds, in pesticides and in water
supplies than in altering the size of the farm, in introducing
machinery, or in getting rid of middle men in the marketing
John Bennet Lawes, an English entrepreneur, began to
experiment on the effects of various manures on plants
growing in pots in 1837, and a year or two later the
experiments were extended to crops in the field.
One immediate consequence was that in 1842 he patented
a manure formed by treating phosphates with sulphuric
acid, and thus was the first to create the artificial manure
In the succeeding year he enlisted the services of Joseph
Henry Gilbert, with whom he carried on for more than
half a century on experiments in raising crops at
the Rothamstead Experiment Station
Fertilizer (or fertiliser) is any organic or inorganic material
of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials)
that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients
essential to the growth of plants.
Conservative estzimates report 30 to 50% of crop yields are
attributed to natural or synthetic commercial fertilizer.
Global market value is likely to rise to more than US$185
billion until 2019. The European fertilizer market will grow to
earn revenues of approx. €15.3 billion in 2018.
Any element that is necessary
for plant growth, development
and completion of life cycle.
Criteria of essentiality
1. The absence of an essential nutrient elements make it
impossible for the plant to complete the vegetative or
reproductive stage of its life cycle
2. The deficiency is specific to the element & can be
prevented or corrected only by supplying that
3.The element is involved directly in the nutrition and
metabolism of plant
As proposed by Arnon & Stout (1939) and modified by Arnon (1954)
Essential elements for plant growth
C H O – Supplied through air and water
N P K – Primary Nutrients
Ca, Mg, S - Secondary Nutrients
Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, B, Cl, Mo – Micronutrients
Co & Ni – recently added Micronutrients
Fertilizer is generally defined as “any
material, organic or inorganic, natural
or synthetic , which supplies one or
more of the essential elements
required for the plant growth.”
India is the third largest producer (after China & USA) and the
second biggest (next only to China) consumer of fertilizer in the
Indian fertilizer industry started in 1906 with SSP production
facility at Ranipet near Chennai.
Started operating in a big scale since 1940s, when the Fertilizer &
Chemicals Travancore of India Ltd. and the Fertilizers Corporation
of India were set up in Kerala and Bihar
The production of urea in India has reached near self-
sufficiency. The requirement of the nitrogenous fertilizers is
met through the indigenous industry
In the case of phosphatic fertilizers, the raw materials and
intermediates are imported in large scale.
The requirement of potash (K) is met entirely through
Fertilizer Production, Consumption and Import Status
The Indian Fertilizer companies produced around 32.4
million tonnes of fertilizer in the year 2012-13
However, the total availability was short of demand and
was met through imports.
Of total fertiliser production, urea output increased to
22.6 million tonnes in FY12-13 from 22.0 million tonnes
in FY11-12 due to better capacity utilization.
While production of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP)
output down 3.6 million tonne in FY12-13 from 4.0
million tones last year.
Output of NPK (nitrogen, phosphate and potassium)
decreased 6.2 million tonnes in FY12-13 from 7.8
million tonnes in FY11-12
•India has 30 manufacturing
units of Urea with an
Installed capacity of 21.6
million tonnes till 2013.
There are 12 units of DAP
producing plants with a
combined capacity of 8.3
Complex fertilizers in the
country have installed
capacity of 6.4 million
tonnes from 19 units
Highest number of fertilizer
units in the country belongs
to SSP. India has 85 SSP
units with a combined
production capacity of 7.7
India is meeting 80 per cent of its urea requirement through
indigenous production but is largely import dependent for its
requirements of phosphatic and potassic (P & K) fertilizers
either as finished fertilizers or raw materials.
Its entire potash requirement, about 90 per cent of phosphatic
requirement, and 20 per cent urea requirement is met through
In India, complex fertilizer is produced by public sector,
cooperative sector and private sector players.
Taking a closer look at the production scenario of complex
fertilizer in the country which has witnessed an overall
negative growth for the period from 2008-09 to 2012-13,
maximum fall in production by both cooperative and the
private sector was witnessed between 2010-11 and 2012-13.
MnMn MnMn MnMn
SS SS SS
KK KK KK KK
ZnZn ZnZn ZnZn ZnZn
PP PP PP PP
FeFe FeFe FeFe FeFe FeFe
NN NN NN NN NN NN
Emerging Multi-Nutrient Deficiencies
Types of Fertilizers
Straight Fertilizer – only one declarable major nutrient e.g. Urea
Complex Fertilizer – at least two declarable major nutrient e.g.
Mixed Fertilizer – blending of fertilizers to supply 2 or 3 major
nutrients e.g. Suphala -15:15:15
Liquid Fertilizer – Fertilizers which are in liquid form e.g.
Fortified Fertilizer - Fertilizers which are enriched with some
specific nutrient e.g. Zincated urea
Coated Fertilizers – Fertilizers which are coated with relatively
slowly soluble materials to have slow release of nutrient e.g.
Neem coated urea
Customized Fertilizer - Location and crop specific fertilizers e.g.
Paras Formoola (Tata Chemicals)
The grade of fertilizer is expressed as a set of three numbers in the order of
percent. If a nutrient is missing, it is represented by a zero. i.e.
SN Fertilizer Grade
1. Ammonium sulphate 20.6-0-0
2. SSP 0-16-0
3. M O P 0-0-60
4. Diammonium phosphate 18-46-0
5. Suphala 15-15-15
Fertilizer ratio refers to the relative percentage of N, P2O5and K2O i.e. 1:4:4
if fertilizer grade is 6 – 24 – 24 .
Primary Nutrients – N,P & K
In the case of nitrogenous fertilizers, nitrogen may
be in the ammonical , nitrate (or a combination
there of) or amide form.
(NH4)Cl, (NH4)2so4 - Ammonical form
NaNO3 (Chile Saltpeter) - Nitrate form
Ammonium Nitrate, CAN - Both form of N
Urea - Amide form
Phosphate (P2 O5 )
The portion of phosphatic fertilizer which is soluble in water is called
water soluble phosphate
The portion of phosphatic fertilizer which is not soluble in water but
soluble in 2% neutral ammonium citrate solution is called citrate
The portion of phosphate which is neither soluble in water nor in 2%
neutral ammonium citrate is termed as insoluble phosphate
Available phosphate = Water soluble + Citrate soluble
Total phosphate = Available phosphate + Insoluble phosphate
Secondary nutrients – Ca, Mg, S
Secondary nutrients are the essential elements which are
required in relatively low amounts.
Therefore, to obtain opt results crops have to be supplied
with secondary nutrients in addition to primary
- Lime - Source of Ca
- CaSo4 (gypsum) - Source of Ca & S
- Dolomite, MgSo4etc - source of Mg
- Pyrite, Elemental S - Source of S
Group of nutrients which are required by plant in
small quantities. Deficiency of which are often not
seen, especially in cereal crops but they have the
hidden hunger for the deficient nutrients.
Intensive cropping deplete all nutrients including
micro-nutrient, from the soil at a fast rate with a
Therefore, proper use of micronutrients is
necessary for increasing agricultural production.
Sources of micronutrients
Zinc Sulphate , Chelated Zinc - for Zn
Manganese Sulphate - for Mn
Borax, Solubor - for B
Copper Sulphate - for Cu
Ferrous Sulphate, Chelated Iron - for Fe
Ammonium Molybdate - for Mo
Recently Zincated Urea & Boronated SSP has also been
incorporated in FCO.
CHALLENGES IN FERTILISER INDUSTRY
Gap between demand and supply
Greater dependency of country on imports( also
Unable to reduce burden of government in
Uncertainties in government policies
Small size of older plants
The main aim of the fertilizer industry is to provide
the primary & secondary nutrients
Primary nutrients are normally supplied through
Chemical fertilizers are chemical compound,
containing one or more of the primary nutrients
and generally produced by chemical reactions.
The primary nutrients are nitrogen, phosphors and
potassium, however, their concentration in a
chemical fertilizers is expressed as parentage of total
nitrogen (N), available phosphate (P2O5) and soluble
Ammonium Sulphate - 20.6% N,
Single Super phosphate – 16% P2O5
MuriateofPotash(MOP) - 60% K2O