Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (DFPCL)  has developed products using nutrient unlock technology (NUT) that improves the efficiency of the soil and enhances the uptake of nutrients by crops.

It will help farmers to minimise wastage and provide balanced nutrients at different stages of crop growth, said Mahesh Girdhar, President-Crop Nutrition Business of DFPLC. 

The company has launched products such as Croptek, a crop nutrient solution with essential major and micronutrients, Solutek, a stage-specific product with required nutrients for crops and Bensulf Super-fast, a crop nutrient containing  sulphur for crops that “love the chemical”, he said. 

Onion products

Croptek Onion, launched by DFPCL in November last year, has helped improve the height of the crop and its yield by 20 per cent, besides raising its shelf life.  “DFPCL has launched Croptek for sugarcane, maize, cotton and groundnut,” he said. 

Another unique product the company has come up with is “Smartek” which enhances NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) efficiency and specifically provides required nutrients from crops.

The company, listed on BSE and NSE, plans to strengthen its crop nutrient portfolio with fertilizers whose efficiency is enhanced. he said. 

DFPCL has developed and launched crop and stage-specific water-soluble products to improve the yield and quality of  grapes, tomatoes and pomegranates.  Recently, it launched Solutek for  pomegranates. It is crop-specific and stage-specific water-soluble product , he said. 

NUT technology

“We are  the first to introduce enhanced efficiency-based  NUT  technology  in NPK fertiliser. We are moving our product portfolio  from  commodity to differentiated products over the last few years,” Girdhar said. 

Stating that the company has been serving the farming community by providing innovative fertilisers under the brand name “Mahadhan” for over 30 years now, he said DFPCL has been “helping farmers”  in improving crop productivity and increasing their income through a sustained crop nutrition programme. 

“Due to intensive cultivation practices post-green revolution, the deficiency of primary, secondary and micronutrients has grown manifolds, leading to stagnant crop productivity over past few years,” he said. 

DFPCL conducted numerous studies to understand the root cause of poor yield and worked towards providing a comprehensive nutrition solution. “Our journey over the last four years has been strongly driven by value-added solutions,” Girdhar said.

Demand destruction

 On the impact of the rise in raw material, he said the impact on the bulk fertiliser segment has been low as the fluctuation in maximum retail price is limited due to subsidy. “But in the water-soluble fertiliser segment, we are seeing demand destruction as prices have gone up significantly. We are educating farmers  on efficient fertiliser products,” the DFPSL official said.  

The company’s approach is “seeing is believing” and therefore, engages with farmers to apprise them about the products’ impact  on multiple crops across geographies  through demonstrations and various ground activities, he said.   

“Over the last few years, we have conducted over 50,000 product demos across  geographies  and touched the lives of countless farmers .  Our digital team continuously engages with farmers through various initiatives such as Facebook live, Youtube and contact centre programme,” Girdhar said.  

Arm gets ADB grant  

On the other hand, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has granted$30 million debt assistance and$ 0.5 million “Technical Grant for Farm Efficiency initiatives” of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Smartchem Technologies Limited. 

“STL was chosen as a candidate for  ADB support because of its leading market position in the enhanced efficiency specialised fertilizers (EESF) segment with advanced technical capability and satisfactory financial performance,” he said. 

The ADB also took into consideration STL’s growth potential from the enhancement of fertilizer production capacity to provide quality inputs and  actions to encourage the application of EESFs, which will support the sustainable transformation of agriculture while improving its resilience to climate change, the DFPCL official said. 

 The ADB loan will be used to finance capital expenditure as well as research and development of enhanced-efficiency speciality fertilizers, he said.