In order to increase nitrogen-use efficiency, government has included neem coated urea, a slow release fertilizer, in the Fertilizer (Control) Order, 1985., limiting its production.
Nitrogen-use efficiency in respect of plain urea ranges between 30-35% and the balance nitrogen is lost to leaching. Neem acts as a nitrification inhibitor and its coating over urea minimizes loss due to leaching by about 5%. Now, the Department of Fertilizer had limited the production of neem coated urea up to 35% of total urea production.
In March 2015, the Department of Fertilizer (DOF) has made it mandatory for all the indigenous producers of urea to produce 75% of their production as neem coated urea (NCU).
Accordingly, 70% of total supply of indigenously produced urea has been of neem coated urea in the month of May, 2015. The Ministry of Agriculture has also issued SMS, through m-Kisan portal to the registered farmers, advising them to give preference to neem coated urea over plain urea.
The DOF has made it mandatory last month for all the indigenous manufactures to produce 100% of the production as neem coated urea. Hence, it is expected that 100% of total supply of indigenously produced urea will also be neem coated in the forthcoming months.
Nutrient use efficiency of neem coated urea is about 5-10% higher than that of plain urea and, therefore, its use will economize the quantity of urea required by crops. Besides, coating of neem oil will also reduce the leaching of nitrates into the ground water and thus, help in reducing its pollution.