of Technology to Farmers of India
farm productivity and farmers' income
mission undertaken by Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals
Soil Health Enhancement
Industry in harmony
Group is a dream brought into reality by Shri KVK Raju, a
first generation entrepreneur from Andhra Pradesh. Shri KVK
Raju was a visionary with firm belief in his mission to "serve
society through industry". It is this belief, which continues
to ushering Nagarjuna Group that pioneered several core sector
enterprises like Fertilizers, Energy and Petroleum.
Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (NFCL) the flagship company
of the Nagarjuna Group commissioned the first Gas based fertilizer
plant in South India at Kakinada in 1992 and currently has
a capacity to produce 12 Lakh MT of Urea per annum.
entered the plant protection business in 1994 and within a
short span of time the company has grown to become one of
the top five plant protection companies in India, supplying
plant protection technicals and formulations to many Indian
and International companies. Nagarjuna is manufacturing 8
technicals and 15 formulations with a turnover of Rs 400 crores.
Group started Micro irrigation business in collaboration with
Israeli companies. Nagarjuna is shouldering the responsibility
in the Andhra Pradesh Micro Irrigation Project (APMIP) towards
delivering effective water management solutions to the farmers
of Andhra Pradesh. Nagarjuna is also the first company to
introduce the concept of water soluble fertilizers in India
in 1995 through tie up with Haifa Chemicals, Israel and is
the market leader in India with sales of about 8000 Mt per
part of its mission, the group is actively involved in the
Micro nutrient segment by supplying high quality products
like Mahazinc (Zinc Monohydrate): 450 MT, Zeta (Zinc EDTA):
150 MT, Groth (Formula 4): 100 MT and Borovin (Boron): 25
MT. Nagarjuna is also sharing the responsibility of distributing
Zinc Sulphate under the State Government's subsidy scheme
to the farming community.
is currently supplying about 20 Lakh MT of urea. Nagarjuna
has been nominated as the Lead Fertilizer Supplier (LFS) by
the Government of India in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West
Bengal as a coordinator between the Government and the Industry.
from the efforts of State and Central Governments, the fertilizer
industry is also playing an important role in transferring
technology to the farmers. Nagarjuna has taken service to
the farmer as a mission since its inception in 1985 and has
established a strong brand in India and has since become a
partner of the farming community.
a step towards providing a platform to facilitate technology
transfer to farmers KVK RAJU KRISHI VIGNANA KENDRAM (KVK)
was set up at Kakinada in 1995. The objective of the center
is to transfer technology and impart knowledge on best agricultural
practices like Integrated Nutrition Management, Water Management,
Integrated Pest Management, Post-harvest Management, etc.
from training activities, the company has also undertaken
several extension activities for the benefit of the farming
community. A wide range of technical crop films on paddy,
sugarcane, maize, cotton, chilli and benefits of Zinc usage
in crops have been developed over the past few years enabling
the concept of "Seeing is believing". Programs like
crop seminars, demonstrations, film shows, soil analysis etc
are extensively organized for transferring enabling technology
to the farmers. Tools like LCD projectors, Slide projectors,
AV vans, flip charts, crop literature etc are widely used
for effective communication. A schematic representation of
NFCL's activities is presented in the chart below:
NFCL continues its endeavor to shoulder social
responsibilities and conduct several social welfare activities,
viz., health camps, drinking water, education, promoting rural
women empowerment etc. It has also established a green belt
in about 600 acres around its plant and promoted eco-systems
for achieving harmony with the environment. This achievement
is reflected in the number of awards conferred on NFCL by
Soil Health Management
production and productivity at the farm level is continuously
deteriorating owing to imbalance fertilizer usage, indiscriminate
use of inorganic fertilizers, repeated and mono cropping.
Further the micro-nutrients in soil are also depleting at
a very alarming rate. In this scenario it is very important
that farmer should know nutrition status of their soils, before
planting of any crop and plan fertilization of crops. To facilitate
this NFCL has set up a Soil Testing Laboratory.
is taking a primary role in educating the farmers on balance
fertilizer application and soil health management through
several farmer educating programs like KVK - In house training,
Off campus training and also through several Farmer meetings
by arranging the eminent scientists to make the farmers well
equipped with the knowledge.
NFCL has been strongly advocating and
promoting the balanced fertilizer usage. NFCL has identified
soil testing as a primary diagnostic technique towards.
1. Soil Health Management.
2. Balance Fertilizer Usage.
Understanding the value of soil testing for farmers, NFCL
has setup elaborate facility for testing soil samples collected
across India and providing the soil test reports to the farmers
on time thus helping them in understanding the usage of balanced
fertilizer as per the crop schedule.
Field staff of the company collects the soil samples from
their territories before the planting season and sends to
the Soil Testing Laboratory of company. Analyst of Soil Testing
Laboratory analyses the soil samples and sends the soil test
results with the fertilizer recommendations according to the
soil status and crops to be grown. Soil samples collected
and analyzed over a period of past five years is given inn
Year No. of soil samples analyzed
· Enabled the farmer to understand
the Characteristics of their soil.
· Enabled farmers to practice Balanced Nutrition.
· Enabled the farmers in proper crop selection.
· Helped in improving the Farm Productivity.
order to make the Soil testing as part of their regular activity,
NFCL has introduced the SOIL HEALTH CARD to all the
samples that are analyzed in our lab so as to enable the farmer
to keep it permanently and maintain the track of Soil health
and also to maintain and improve the Crop Productivity.
Health Enhancement" Campaign:
Dr.M.S.Swaminathan emphasized the importance
of soil health and call upon the Fertilizer Association of
India (FAI), to undertake "Soil Health Enhancement Campaign"
and coordinate this exercise under aegis of the Department
of Agriculture and Agricultural Universities.
NFCL joined hands with FAI
to carry out campaigns to bring awareness amongst the farming
community. As a part of this campaign the following activities
have been organized for the benefit of the farming community.
Soil sample collection
§ Testing and analysis
§ Plot demonstration
§ Farmers and Dealers training programs on soil health
Two plot demonstrations conducted at
Tadwai and Errapahad villages of Nizamabad District in A.P
with view to bring awareness on soil test based nutrition
management. As a part of this program field day and farmers
meeting were organized to inform the farmers about the activities
taken up during the campaign and the importance of using fertilizers
based on Soil Test results.
The farmers of the above villages
have realized the importance of soil health and realized the
excess usage of Urea and Potash and should use Phosphorous
as per requirement, since the soil is low in available Phosphorous
based on soil test report. They have also noted the savings
made on fertilizer usage based on Soil test recommendation.
Adoption of Sadial Village in South-24-parganas District of
West Bengal as a pilot project:
has adopted village Sadial in Mathurapur block in South -
24 -parganas of West Bengal. As advised by FAI and Department
of Agriculture, W.B. all the manufacturers adopted one village
each. NFCL executives have collected soil samples from all
the farmers of the village. All the samples were analyzed
for both Macronutrients and Micronutrients. Based on analysis
reports, soil health cards were prepared and distributed to
the farmers. As part of this program, NFCL Officials explained
soil sampling techniques and benefits which are as follows:
Soil Sampling is the primary activity in agriculture
to know about the status of Soil Fertility and available Nutrients
in the soil i.e. productivity. It also indicates the pH value
and Organic Matters present in soil. Soil Analysis gives direction
to the farmers to identify the necessary steps to be carried
out in a season with respect to management of Organic matter
in the soil and Nutrients in deriving better yields.
of Soil Analysis Report:
State No. of Samples Organic Carbon N
Low Med High Low Med High Low Med High Low Med High
Values in Percentages (%)
AP 6763 34 41 25 34 41 25 44 43 13 12 50 38
WB 54 17 23 60 33 43 24 12 55 33 45 55 -
Orissa 710 31 45 24 36 49 15 37 46 17 87 13 -
Total 7527 - - - - - - - - - - - -
conducted by Metric Consultancy, a renowned market research
agency has brought out its findings that NFCL's activities
viz, imparting knowledge of soil sample collection, demonstrations,
timely distribution of the analysis reports and prescription
of optimum fertilizer dosage by eminent soil scientists etc.,
in improving soil health is the best in the industry.
Micro Irrigation - a new dimension in Water Management
Water to the crop - not to the field:
Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited
(NFCL) recognize the importance of water in agriculture and
started promoting judicious use of water for agriculture and
horticulture crops. It is estimated that for a single full
irrigation, in conventional Flood Method of Irrigation (FMI),
an average volume of 2.5 lakh liter is pumped to an acre land
surface. Conventionally, crop is irrigated at the interval
of 8-15 days and the distribution uniformity is limited up
to 33% only, which means that the crop utilizes only 35 to
40% of the total quantity of water applied. Looking to the
wastage of precious water, NFCL came out with a though provoking
slogan "water to the crop not to the field" with
a view to disseminate awareness on effective utilization of
water- an unique natural resource
The Concept of Drip Irrigation: Drip irrigation
(OR) Micro Irrigation as it is popularly known, was developed
and adapted by Israel, USA and Australia in early seventies.
In Drip irrigation, the cyclical nature of the conventional
irrigation methods can be avoided and the soil moisture levels
can be maintained at optimum Field Capacity levels continuously,
whereby the conditions for plant growth are ideal all along
the duration of the crop, which is reflected in the study
published by Singh et al (2000).
Advantage of Micro Irrigation.
Efficient Water Management
- Water saving up to 30 - 70% depending
up on soil, crop etc.,
- Water losses are minimized (90% utilization)
- More area can be irrigated with available water source.
- Reduces weed growth, cost effective
- Uniform supply of water - uniform growth and yield
The above study clearly depicts that substantial
amount of water can be saved and the same time farmer net returns
also increased.NFCL is playing a prominent role in promoting
micro irrigation concept by participating in two mega government
projects viz: Andhra Pradesh Micro Irrigation Project (APMIP),
Gujarat Green Revolution Company (GGRC).
- More yield with good quality produce
- Change over crops as per local market demands
- Use of soluble Fertilizers through Drip
Fertigation as per the crop demand
role in promoting Micro Irrigation: Much prior to National
task force implementation of Micro Irrigation, NFCL has been
promoting Micro Irritation concept. As a part of promotion
program, initially, it has imported micro irrigation systems
from Israel and supplied to its customers. During 1996 NFCL
has sent production engineers and agronomists to Israel to
acquaint manufacturing process of micro irrigation accessories
and horticultural crops technology.
1998 NFCL established a manufacturing unit at Hyderabad, Andhra
Pradesh, with a joint venture between NFCL and a consortium
of three Israeli companies - Lego, Plassim and Metzerplas.
Currently, the shareholding is entirely with the Nagarjuna
In house production facility of Micro Irrigation
Systems: NFCL has set up state of art technology in Micro
Irrigation systems production facility at Nacharam (Hyderabad).
Currently NFCL is producing 12.6 million meters of integral
drip line and 40,000 meters of plain laterals per annum. NFCL
was the fist company to produce and introduce integral drip
line for close space crops and is rated well for the quality
of its products ( all with BSI markings) and services. The
company has instituted a superior practices for the first
time in the industry which includes…periodic installation
audits and service campaigns, maintenance manuals in local
languages and so on, resulting in improved brand equity..
Till now it has installed micro irrigation systems in more
than 30000 hectares across in the country. Year wise installations
(acreage) by NFCL are presented in the table:
The effectiveness of Micro Irrigation has
generated huge interest among other farmers who were following
traditional water management. Based on the interest evinced
by these farmers the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh has allocated
more districts to NFCL for taking up micro irrigation installations
resulting in a 30% increase in the Micro Irrigation business.
With the emphasis given by the State Govt.,
more and more farmers are coming forward for taking up micro
irrigation systems as it is resulting in effective water management
and resulting cost savings to a tune of 40% on account of
electricity charges and cost of inputs.
NFCL has a data bank of 15000 farmers who
have got benefited through Micro Irrigation and are serving
as ambassadors for Micro Irrigation concept.
Acreage(Ha) Type of System Number of Farmers
NFCL Efforts in developing MI concept (
Chronological Order) 2002 - 03 & 2003-04
Banana 12500 In line 6250
Sugarcane 11000 On Line 5500
Grape 500 On line 250
Pomegranate 500 On line 250
Citrus 2500 On line 1250
Oil Palm 2000 Micro jet 1000
Vegetables 500 On line 250
Others 583 On line / In line 292
has brought 4251 hectares comprising Banana, Sugarcane, Oil
Palm and Mango under micro irrigation during this period and
also providing services to around 2000 farmers. NFCL has been
conducting technical sessions such as preventive maintenance
of systems, acid treatment, making irrigation schedules etc.
As a result of this type of services, fellow farmers inclined
to opt micro irrigation systems.
NFCL has installed micro irrigation systems
in 5421 hectares which includes Banana, Sugarcane and Oil
Palm, vegetables and sweet orange. It constituted a quality
circle with a
to provide regular service to its Micro Irrigation farmers.
The organization of quality circle is mentioned in the following
This team is working under direct supervision
of Manager - technical services. NFCL has 25 such teams in India
working round the year and established crop irrigation techniques
and fertigation schedules
preventive maintenance, irrigation scheduling
for wide range of crops and agronomical services. The quality
circle, comprising MI engineer, an agronomist, crop specialist
and three mechanical operators to provide service exclusively
to MI farmers on regular basis. This team continuously visiting
fields, attending operational problems and disseminate knowledge
related to MI systems maintenance, agronomical solutions which
includes usage of water soluble fertilizer through drip irrigation
and plant protection technology.
constituted a task force to promote Micro Irrigation in Rayalaseema
force is constituted to promote fertigation concept in drought-prone
districts of Anantapur, Kadapa & Chittoor. The task force
comprising Regional Manager,(RM) Sales Officer, development
officer, MI engineer, , Technical Assistant and Field Assistant
from each area office. This task force is working under Regional
Manager and responsible for up-dating the date base and organizing
meetings to offer technical details of Micro Irrigation systems.
This team collects the farmers list Mandal wise and organize
crop wise meetings on regular basis and finally follow up
with farmers. This whole activity is carried out under the
supervision of RM. The impact assessment exercised is carried
out on quarterly basis in addition to monthly review. Task
force of NFCL brought 2500 acres under Micro Irrigation systems
in the above districts. Crop wise installation in this district
is presented in the table. NFCL made the MI farmers to adopt
Nutrigation techniques since they have suitable systems for
Nutrigation, results of this program are presented in the
from drip system, NFCL has already installed sprinkler systems
for crops like Ground Nut, Pulses, Maize, Caster and cotton.,
in all put together about 1500 hectares and offering services
to nearly 2000 sprinkler farmers.
Special Micro Irrigation projects
NFCL has successfully completed special
projects like Sugarcane project in Maharashtra where in 1200
hectares brought under micro irrigation. Similarly, NFCL has
also installed integral drip line for 75 hectares in Integrated
Vegetable Development Project (IVDP). It also installed MI
systems for corporates like Frito lays and Reliance. Frito
lays started contract farming of Potato production; NFCL has
extended technical know-how on Micro Irrigation and Nutrigation.
In this project, it installed integral drip line of 150 acres
for Potato in Maharashtra. NFCL has also installed state of
art technology of drip for Oil Palm in collaboration with
Antelco, Australia in Andhra Pradesh.
offered services to Tamil Nadu Precision Farming Project (TNPFP)
Nadu Precision Farming Project, the first of its kind in India
was implemented by Tamil Nadu Government in an area of 400
ha for the benefit of the farming community in Dharmapuri
and Krishnagiri districts. Main thrust was given for hi tech
agriculture including land preparation, community nursery
and drip fertigation. Enhancement in crop production ranged
from 40 to 60 % irrespective of the crops grown by the farmers.
The state government on seeing the great success of the programme,
has planned to support the programme in 1400 ha in two spells
with 200 crore investment.
has installed micro irrigation systems in 150 hectares under
this project and provided technical services for designing
fertigation schedules with water soluble fertilizers. As a
commercial agreement NFCL also supplied a range of water soluble
fertilizers to this project. This project has demonstrated
the benefits of both micro irrigation and fertigation on wide
range of crops. With the success of this project, the state
Govt of Tamilnadu is envisaging an investment of Rs 1000 crores
for replicating the project in more areas.