Fertilizer Deep Placement

| Foreign Markets |

The International Fertilizer Development Center is an international organization working to combat hunger. IFDC’s flagship idea is Fertilizer Deep Placement (FDP), a technique of applying fertilizer below the soil.

How does it work?

The method was developed in cooperation with farmers from Bangladesh and is made up of two stages. In stage one, the fertilizers are compacted to form briquette. The briquetting machine is suitable for operation in the developing countries and it produces fertilizer chunks whose mass is 1 to 3 grams. The second step in the method is placing the briquette below the soil. This is done manually or using a mechanical applicator. In rice plantations, where this method is used, the fertilizer is placed 7-10 centimeters below the ground, 7 days after the transplanting.

Small effort, huge benefits

FDP was listed by “The Guardian” as one of the six most influential innovations in agriculture. Simple as it may appear, the method is very efficient. Not only does it help to use 30% less nitrogen-based fertilizers (the staple substance in this process), but it also increases yield by 30% on average. Suffice it to say that in developing countries, especially those in Asia, such improvement of crop efficiency without extra cost may determine the future of a struggling rural community.

The smart way to boost efficiency

The method is efficient as long as the requisite quantity of fertilizer is delivered to the plant, rice in particular. According to research, watering rice fields leads to massive loss of fertilizers applied manually in the traditional way, that is onto the soil. Evaporation also contributes to nutrient loss. Nitrogen applied using FDP is not easily washed away or moved away, and it helps to provide nutrients to the crops evenly and gradually.

Economies of the scale

The method boasts another, very important advantage. Most rice crops involved grow on small farms (below 2 hectares) which are too poor to invest in innovation or buy a large quantity of fertilizers. FDP suits their needs perfectly, as its implementation cost is low and efficiency is high. If we take the vast number of small farms in the world into consideration, FDP might soon be bringing benefits on a global scale.